Summary: Three different responses to the news of Christ’s birth: (1) the Magi, passionately seeking Christ to worship Him; (2) King Herod, eager to get rid of Christ, do not want Him to sit on his throne; and (3) Jerusalem, apathetic to the prophecies rega
Matt 2:1-12, 16-18
We see here 3 different responses to the news of the birth of Jesus Christ.
• First, we see the Magi in a passionate search for the child Jesus.
• Second, we have King Herod also eagerly seeking to find the child, but so that he could kill him.
• And thirdly, we see the indifferent attitude of the people in Jerusalem – not bothered to find the child.
I. The Response of Magi
We do not know who the Magi were, and how many of them were there.
• Nor do we know their names, or where exactly “from the east” they came.
• We do not know the source of their information, other than the fact that they saw some unusual appearing of a star in the sky.
But one thing we can be sure – they were serious about finding Jesus.
• They were from a faraway land, but the long journey did not deter them.
• They believed the message of God, and came prepared with gifts to worship Him.
God guided them with a miraculous sign in the sky.
• Our God is a God who guides, who delights to show you the way.
• Moses said to the people of Israel: “If from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deut 4:29)
• God guided them to Jesus, and guided them when they leave.
• 2:12 tells us God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod.
• Be assured today, brothers and sisters. God wants to guide you. When you seek Him, He will show you the way.
The Magi arrived first in Jerusalem. The city came to know of the news.
• King Herod and all Jerusalem were disturbed by this news.
They were unprepared for this.
• How could foreigners from afar have received such information, without Jerusalem first learning of His coming?
• How could these foreign “Gentiles” be seeking for a Jewish king, so that they might worship him?
• The worst part of all was that those who considered themselves the spiritual elite of Israel were not even sure that the Messiah was born.
Jerusalem is the place where the Temple of God is sited, where the Scriptures can be found and be heard read out on the Sabbath.
• Yet they were unprepared to believe the prophecies of the Scriptures.
• The chief priests and the teachers of the law, when questioned by the King, knew the answers but refused to believe it.
• If they had, they would be among the first to find out and worship their Messiah.
Herod called the Magi secretly and supplied them with the name of the village — Bethlehem — where the Christ could be found.
• You see how God guided them. God provided the answer they need through a pagan King.
• Herod became a tool in God’s hand. In the OT, we read how God uses a similar way – using a pagan King Cyrus to bring His people in captivity, back to Jerusalem.
So the Magi headed south from Jerusalem towards Bethlehem.
• The “star” reappeared, this time leading them to the very house where Jesus was.
• 2:10 “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.”
• By this time, Jesus was no longer in the manger but in the house (2:11).
• It took a long time for the Magi to travel from the east to this place.
• It was a difficult journey, but they came prepared with gifts – heavy gifts.
In this passage, we saw the eagerness of the Magi to find Jesus.
• They were extremely happy just to see the star, knowing that it would lead them to Jesus.
• They “bowed down and worshiped” Jesus and gave him expensive gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (2:11).
• Let us seek Him and worship Him with the same excitement each time we come to church.
• Let us rekindle the joy of Christmas. Let’s “bow down and worship Him” this Christmas.
No matter how far away you feel you are, you can find Jesus and worship Him.
• Believe the Word of God – today a Saviour has been born to you.
• We are lost in life without Him. Open your heart and receive Him as your Saviour.
• God will forgive us of our sins, and give us a new life.
II. The Response of Herod
We saw a totally different response in King Herod.
• He believed the news enough to be disturbed by it, but he refused to accept the truth. Jesus was no Messiah to him. He was a threat to his throne.