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Summary: Wise men still seek him, but who were the wise men. really?

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Wise Men Still Seek Him

Matthew 2:1-12

Intro. A boy was once asked what he was going to give his sister for Christmas, he replied, “Well,” he said, “last year I gave her the measles.”

What will we give Jesus for Christmas? Hopefully a genuine worship that involves our whole lives,

that’s what the Magi gave.

First, there’s a popular MIS understanding about the Magi I want to clear up. Many people think they were astrologers. One translation of the Bible actually renders “Magi” this way.

False, for many reasons, among which are the following:

First, God wouldn’t use a practice which is pagan and condemned in HIS WORD to bring people to Jesus.

Second, the word “magi” included people like Daniel, and his friends, clearly NOT pagan.

Third, the star they followed was probably NOT an astronomical, nor astrological thing. It did strange things, such as appear, disappear and actually stopped over Bethlehem, and pointed out

the exact house where Jesus was. It was a supernatural thing, possibly an angel, but definitely not an natural astronomical star.

Fourth, these men came to Jerusalem with specific, Biblical knowledge about Jesus, not mystical, magical curiosity.

All of which suggests they may have been descendents of Daniel and his style of wise men, who had been waiting for the Messiah since the Babylonian Captivity, with the clear vision of Daniel to help them! Wow!

In any case they do show us something about worship. Two things:

1) Worship involves our whole lives. Once they saw the star, it determined everything in their lives. Walking, talking traveling, waiting, inquiring, all was submitted to the goal of worshipping the newborn king.

This corresponds to the Calvinist Reformation view of worship as involving our whole lives, Sunday simply being when we come together to worship.

Illus. It was said of John Bunyan (Pilgrim’s Progress), “Methinks, he doth laugh too much.”

By William Cowper. We need worshipful, spirit-filled laughter all week long, at work, home, the supermarket, etc.

2) Worship transforms our whole lives. At the end of their time in Bethlehem, the Angel warned them about not going back to Herod and the Bible says, “They went back another way.”

Another way? I know this means a different route, but it describes what real, week-long worship can do: Transform our lives!

Illus. John Hyde, “praying Hyde,” the story goes.was at a conference in India and was famous for his prayers and success through that means. A young minister saw him and, since he was a celebrity like Billy Graham, went over and asked Mr. Hyde to pray for him and his ministry.

Mr. Hyde didn’t answer right away, then, with a sigh said, “Yes.” He proceeded to put his hand on the young minister’s shoulder and there was a long period of silence. Mr. Hyde was coming into the Holy of Holies. People were walking around, there was a low hum of chatter around them, but he prayed, silently. After the longest time, Mr. Hyde said, “Oh God!” With such emotion, such a sense of the supernatural, that the young minister said that he was afraid to open his eyes, lest he see God.

Just a casual prayer at a crowded conference? Or, did John Hyde know the secret of the Wise Men, that worship involves the whole life?


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