Summary: As we look at the narratives concerning the birth of Jesus we will see some interesting reactions!
• When you talk to people about Jesus, what kind of reaction do you receive? What kind of reception do people today give to Jesus?
• In the NFL right now, Tim Tebow seems to be a lightning rod because of his very public display of his faith in Jesus. Mr. Tebow seems to upset people because he is so willing to talk about his faith.
• Not only is he willing to talk about Jesus, he seems to be a great example of what it means to walk the walk also.
• Whenever Jesus is mentioned in the public arena, there are a whole range of reactions, both positive and negative.
• Over the years, do people really change that much?
• I am intrigued by the initial reaction that the folks of the time had concerning the birth of Jesus.
• It seems to me that after 2000 plus years, the reactions of people to Jesus are the same as those involved in the Gospel narratives.
• I want us to look at the King’s reception today by the various people spoken about in the narratives today.
• As we look at the reception the king received from these people, I hope that we will look at what kind of reception we have given to the King!
• Let us start in Matthew 2:1-2
• SLIDE #2
• Matthew 2:1–2 (ESV) Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
• Let us begin by looking at…
• SLIDE #3
I. The reception of the King by the wise men.
• Who are the Wise men?
• They were most likely from Persia, or Arabia. They are mentioned in Daniel with Babylonians.
• They were wise men of whom kings would seek for advice; they were astronomers, philosophers and priests.
• These men traveled a long distance, it was not as if they could get in the car and go, it was a long walk.
• When we look at verse 2, we can see why the Wise Men were seeking Jesus. They came to worship Him!
• These men were not seeking just to acknowledge or pay honor to Jesus; they came to worship a deity. This is evident from the gifts that they gave. The gifts they give were of high value.
• They were not seeking an earthly King like Herod; they wanted to worship the REAL king!
• When they found Jesus, they were exceedingly joyful!
• SLIDE #4
• Matthew 2:10–11 (ESV)10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
• The feeling they had was beyond words. These men came looking for the King and they offered Him their worship!
• There are people today who will seek Jesus because they know who He is.
• When they find Him, what gift will they come bearing the King?
• SLIDE #5
• Romans 12:1 (ESV) I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
• The Wise Men came to worship. Is that the kind of reception you would give to the King?
• Let us look at verses 3-6 now to see how another person in our narrative received the King.
• SLIDE #6
• Matthew 2:3–5 (ESV) 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
• SLIDE #7
II. The reception of the King by King Herod.
• Herod was also looking for the King; he tells the Wise Men in verse 8 that he too wants to go worship this new King.
• That is awesome! Herod wants to worship the King also! Well not so fast!
• Herod’s reign began in 40 BC.
• He was a skilled politician. Survived many rulers. Killed all who could claim his throne, family members included. Had 10 wives throughout his life.