Summary: Beloved there is no greater JOY then we find our savior and Lord and worship Him for who he is. Let us encourage every one who is looking by truly enjoying this time of year with all it’s meaning, Jesus was born, God has kept His promise.
The JOY of Worship
A visitor in a small Southern town comes across a beautiful Nativity scene. It was obvious that great skill and talent had gone into creating it. One small feature bothers the man - the three wise men are wearing firefighters helmets. Unable to come up with a reason or an explanation, the visitor gets in his car and heads out of town. At a Quik Stop on the edge of town, he stops and asks the lady behind
the counter about the helmets. She flies into a rage and yells at the visitor, "You darn Yankees never do read the Bible!" The man assures her that he does, but simply can’t recall anything in the Bible. She jerks her Bible from behind the counter and ruffles through the pages, and finally jabs her finger at a passage. Sticking it in his face she says, "See, it says right here, ’The three wise men came from afar.’"
Matthew 2:1-8 NIV
1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
3When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.”
7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
There were three types of people who were in this incident. Lets look at them.
I. I’d like to talk about the crafty, or sneaky if you will.
That would be King Herod of course. There are some times when we find ourselves in the Right Place but with the Wrong People. There are some places that are all right but the people are all wrong. Herod was a madman, lunatic, psychopath. Herod was wicked, troubled, and mentally sick man. If I were a psychiatrist, I would diagnose Herod as chronic paranoid schizophrenic. He believed that people were out to get him, take his throne, seize his position or his power. Herod had his treasures stored in the earth rather than storing his treasures in heaven. The wise men were in the Right Place but with the Wrong People. When Herod heard that the wise men were looking for some future king the text says he was troubled and all of Jerusalem with him. Why he wanted to stop anyone from getting what he had, power, from Rome. Herod would go to any lengths to get what he wanted, even kill someone.
You know the sad thing there are still people like that today, They like there power or place of position, they covet it, nothing matters to them, like Herod. Enough of the crafty or sneaky. That is to much of a downer for this time of year. Lets move on.
II. The Informed but indifferent.
They called the chief priest of the people and teachers of the law to find out where this king was going to be born. Vs 4
Strange that they knew where, but seemed not to know it had happened, they had the information but were indifferent about it. They were being busy doing their thing and not following the times. They where God’s people, who where to be waiting for the savior, messiah, The Lord to be born, and they were found to busy to notice what was happening. To busy doing church work to do God’s work I guess. It’s sad that the ones who had the most to gain where the last to know. Even sadder was they did not seem to care. NO ONE OFFERED TO GO SEE THE NEW KING. They and Herod sent the wise men to find him and report back. Too busy to find the Lord themselves. They were in darkness even though they thought they had the light of God’s word.
5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
Enough already!! We are supposed to be talking about JOY!!
Lets talk about the third type of people who were there.