Summary: THe fourth WIse Man is the most important of all.
The Poor Wise Man
Pastor Terry Hagedorn
Calvary Baptist Church
There was another wise man. There were not just three wise men! Tradition says that there were three because the wise men brought three kinds of gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. (Gold speaks of His Deity—His Royalty, Frankincense speaks of His Priesthood; and, Myrrh speaks of His suffering as a Prophet. Combined they remind us the Person of the Messiah—Christ and His glory.
The other wise man is usually forgotten at Christmas. In fact, he is almost always forgotten. However, He brought salvation through wisdom--not gold, silver or precious spice. He reminds us of the Work of Christ—salvation.
We read about him in the Old Testament! Ecclesiastes 9:14-18 There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it: 15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. 16 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. 17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools. 18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.
This passage simply teaches that wisdom (Spiritual wisdom) is better than strength (the flesh); and, spiritual truth and spiritual things are never appreciated--or even remembered—as they should be.
It is not too much of a stretch to see, first of all, the Christmas message in this passage: It speaks of a little CITY— There was a little city, and few men within it.. Isn’t this a picture of the Earth? The Psalmist recognized the littleness of the Earth and her inhabitants: Psalm 8:3-4 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? Amazing Grace is amazing not only for what He has done—but, for whom he did it! It should humble us to remember that “God so loved the world” that He offered His Son for US!
It speaks of SATAN—the Adversarial king: And there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it. Satan used the bulwarks of deception, defeat and death to try and destroy this little city! And, no one cared—but God!
Thirdly, it speaks of the SAVIOR: Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. This verse speaks of the Person and the Work of the fourth Wise Man. He was poor. He was wise—Wisdom incarnate. And, He was a
He was poor: II Corinthians 8:9, For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. He was rich? When? Isn’t this verse a proof text for the Deity of Christ? He was rich as the preincarnate Son of God. As the Son of Man, he was poor: Mat 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
He was wise—Wisdom incarnate! 1Corinthians 1:23-24: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
He is a man—He was as much God, as if He was not man: and, He was as much man, as if He was not God! 1Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. This wise man did not come from the east. He came from the north—the sides of the north: the Throne of God!
He by his wisdom delivered the city. In the wisdom of God, God became a man. He lived a sinless life. And then, I Corinthians 15:3,4 Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.
God in His wisdom sent Christ to pay a debt He did not owe—because we had a debt we could not pay! God died for the ungodly.
Sadly, the reaction to his wisdom and deliverance is the same response we see today: yet no man remembered that same poor man. v.15b.
Will you remember Him this year? Will your Christmas honor the wisdom of God in sending His Son to die for us? Will there be room for the poor wise man in your home this Christmas—and throughout the New Year?