Summary: Jesus ONLY reveals Himself to people who seek for Him earnestly.(This sermon is prepared by Pastor Joe Balaan, my student in Central Bible College, as part of his course requirement in Bible Exposition).
(This sermon is prepared by Pastor Joe Balaan, my student in Central Bible College, as part of his course requirement in Bible Exposition)
Main Idea : Jesus reveals Himself to people who seek for Him earnestly.
The Magi were men who were skilled in philosophy, medicine and natural science. They were soothsayers and interpreters of dreams. In later times the word Magus developed a much lower meaning, and came to mean little more than a fortune-teller, a sorcerer, a magician, and a charlatan. Such was Elymas, the sorcerer (Ac.13:6, 8), and Simon who is commonly called Simon Magus (Ac.8:9, 11). But at their best the Magi were good and holy men, who sought for truth.
King Herod was a descendant of the Edomite, who was commonly called Edomeans during Jesus’ days. Herod had ruled as governor of Galilee from 47 to 37 B.C. he was then promoted to rule as king over all Palestine from 37 to 4 B.C. he became famous for building cities, fortresses, and temples throughout the land but generally opposed by the people because of his Edomite ancestry.
In 40 B.C. Jewish rebels and Persians had joined together to push the Romans and Herod their puppet king out of Palestine. But in 37 B.C. Herod came back with the Romans and again took control of Jerusalem. Ever since the Jews had shown a continual desire to overthrow Herod.
There was a dark and cruel streak in Herod’s character that showed itself increasingly as he grew older. His mental instability, moreover, was fed by the intrigue and deception that went on within his own family. Despite his affection for Mariamne, he was prone to violent attacks of jealousy; his sister Salome (not to be confused with her great-niece, Herodias’ daughter Salome) made good use of his natural suspicions and poisoned his mind against his wife in order to wreck the union. In the end Herod murdered Mariamne, her two sons, her brother, her grandfather, and her mother, a woman of the vilest stamp who had often aided his sister Salome’s schemes. Besides Doris and Mariamne, Herod had eight other wives and had children by six of them. He had 14 children.
Every year the whole world celebrates the Christmas season, the day when the savior of the world became flesh. The first century Christians does not celebrate Christmas in fact it is not the exact time when Jesus Christ was born, December 25 was the birth of the pagan god “Mitra” according to tradition they incorporate the birth of Mitra to the birth of Jesus just to convert the pagans to Christianity, the birth of Mitra were celebrated with feasting and extravagant celebration. Since then Christmas has been celebrated in the month of December.
Christmas celebration has become common all throughout the world, but not every person on earth really celebrated Christmas the way they should; and not every one who celebrate Christmas had found the savior of the world. Like in the days when Jesus Christ was born, the teacher of the Law knows that the Messiah has to be born but they never saw it, the king wanted to see the Messiah but has failed to take a glance of the child.
Christmas was celebrated by everybody but the Christ does not reveal himself to everybody!
Now let us study this wonderful verse of the scripture and find out what kind of people does the Messiah reveal himself.
I. The savior reveals Himself only to those who search for Him.(v1a)
The whole Israel were expecting the coming of the messiah for their salvation, the chief priest and the scribes knows exactly were the messiah has to be born but they miss his birth, but there are people from a far country that knows that the messiah was born, but before they could find Him they have to experience circumstances.
a) In spite of the distance “…Jesus was born in Bethlehem…”
The magi had to travel from a distant country before they could find the savior. During those times to travel has a lot of difficulties, they have to prepare them selves for a long journey; they have prepare for foods for a period of time; they have to prepare themselves to the dangers of encountering bandits on the road. But none of these circumstances hinders them to go.
In our lives some times we encounter difficulties like this; we have to sacrifice to travel far just to meet God in our place of worship; some times we have to encounter a period of difficulties in our lives for a long time but at the end the savior is waiting for us to give us an everlasting joy, a joy that not even a king like Herod has.
b) In spite of the conditions “…in the days of Herod the king…”