Summary: THe Magi came from the East seeking the one born King of the Jews. We can learn from them how to be Wise men and women for Christ
Three Men and a Baby
Text: Matthew 2:1-12
1st Illustration: What if Christ had not come?
A striking Christmas card was once published with the title “What if Christ had not come?” It was founded on Jesus’ words “If I had not come.” (John 15:22) It has a pastor falling asleep dreaming of a world without Jesus. In his dream he finds himself at home, looking through his house. It is Christmas day, there are no stockings hung by the chimney, no bells ringing in the church steeple, no wreaths or holly. And no Christ to comfort, gladden or save. There were no churches, no books in his library about Jesus.
There was a knock on the door, a young man asked the preacher to come to his house. The young man’s mother was dying, would he have words of comfort for her. As he opened his Bible, he noticed it ended at Malachi. There were no promises, no gospels, no hope. All he could do was bow his head and weep. Two days later at her funeral he had no words of comfort and hope. No consolation nor hope of heaven.
How easy is it to forget just how important this event is. Even for those who do not worship Christ this day would be no different than any others if Christ had not come, for even though the coming holiday is a religious holiday, it would never had been celebrated if Christ had not come. We see in the Bible that the birth of Christ was God’s gift to all, but like gifts we must receive it in order to enjoy it.
Key characters in this segment are these men from the East, known as Magi. We don’t know much about these men, only that they had come from the east and that they were into astrology. But we can learn a lot from them
We first learn:
TO BE SEEKERS (1-8)
The Magi were: men of science, not just mystics. They were highly educated, wealthy, highly respected in their Gentile culture. They were not men of faith or prone to follow faith, but rational men of science.
They studied the heavens, not necessarily looking for God, but when God sends them a message they understood. Very possible these men were familiar with the teachings of Daniel. This way they knew of the when, but not the where, the Jews knew the where but not the when, or they too would have searched the skies for the sign. These men were seekers of truth, and that truth led them to God. Those who seek real truth can find God, only those who say there is no God can’t seem to find Him in anything.
If we keep our eyes open, and allow God to speak to us He will usually do so in language we understand…and we can end up like the Magi. They did whatever they had to do to find the Christ. Maybe there is something there we could learn.
The next lesson we learn from the Magi is to be
Science and logic only brought them so far…they ended up in Jerusalem looking for the King of the Jews. Logic predicted that a king would live in the Capital, so why not start the search there. Logic and science only brought them so far, it would take faith to take them the rest of the way.
Once in Jerusalem it is the scriptures that bring them face to face with the Christ. Today it is the same, science and logic with real truth may get us going in the right direction, but it will take God’s word to bring the journey to Him.
The focus of Scripture…to show us Christ, to introduce us to Him personally, to allow us to reach him and touch Him.
They did not quit when logic did not prevail, they pursued to the end the word of God rewarded that sincerity by bringing them to Jesus. Today it is the same, if someone is sincere in their search for Jesus, the Word of God will bring them there.
Herod however had a different reason for finding the Christ, it was not to know the truth, but to get rid of it. Today it is not much different, people would rather get rid of Jesus, because He threatens the way they live. Christ came to do battle with sin and Satan, that was a message the Magi understood. They knew that the world needed something greater than science, more than logic, more than religion or money or education or class status, they knew it needed a Savior.
During WW2 when this man and his son were done Christmas shopping, they passed a row of houses brightly lit, trees and decorations all over the houses. One had a star in the window, the son asked his daddy why that was so. The father answered “that means they have a son fighting in the war.” With that the son looked up and said “Look daddy, God must have a son in the war, he has a star in his window too.” God has a son who went to war, he fights the fight for us daily.