3-Week Series: Double Blessing

Sermons

Summary: Why does the Bible 2X call them "wise?" Because they were SEARCHING for a Sign from God, they ACTED on the revelation they had, they PERSEVERED until they got to Him, and they ENTERED IN to know Jesus! May God make us wise like them.

WHAT MADE THE WISE MEN WISE?

Matt. 2:1-12

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR

1. For many years there was a Christmas pageant every year in the (Miami) Dade County Auditorium, which seats 2,400 people. The cast included over 400 people and live animals.

2. One year their seasoned donkey died so they were forced to find a replacement. An animal trainer found one, but it had never been on stage before. The last dress rehearsal was a bit shaky.

3. On opening night, Mary and Joseph began their journey to Bethlehem. With Mary on its back, the donkey went about 15 feet, then noticed the spotlight & the crowd.

4. He began backing up toward the painted hills of Judah. When he bumped into the backdrop, he froze. The lights were turned off, then back on, to reveal 6 men dragging the donkey across the stage, with a very shaken Mary still clinging to its back.

5. That’s when the narrator summed up the situation, “Yes, it was a l-o-o-o-o-n-g journey to Bethlehem!”

[David Naster]

6. “Christmas According to Kids” Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suowe2czxcA

B. TEXT

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” 7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

C. THESIS

1. The three Wise Men (if there were 3) appear to be just about as dense as most men. Did they bring toys? Clothes for baby Jesus? Something to eat? No!

2. WHAT DID THEY BRING?

a. A hunk of metal.

b. Ground tree sap.

c. Myrrh – a poisonous substance! Real bright!

3. If the Wise Men had been Wise Women they would have brought something more practical – like diapers, a wind-up swing, a pacifier, wipes, and spinach baby food!

4. So we know what the Wise Men did wrong (not really – they’re gifts were of great value), but WHAT DID THEY DO RIGHT? WHAT DID THE WISE MEN DO THAT WAS SO WISE?

I. THEY WERE WATCHFUL FOR SPIRIUAL SIGNS

A. THEY RECOGNIZED GOD’S VOICE/HAND

1. Who were these Magi?

a. Highly educated; a priestly caste.

b. Especially engaged in the study of Astronomy.

c. Hadn’t degenerated into idolatry, but were seekers after God. They saw the stars as God’s handiwork and writing tablet.

2. WHAT THEY DIDN’T SEE:

a. Misconceptions today. They didn’t see a…

1). Star (in the regular sense of the word);

2). Comet;

3). Conjunction of planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Mars-7B.C., as Kepler suggested in 1606).

b. It couldn’t have been a conjunction of planets because:

1). It continued to shine for 2 years!

2). It moved; disappeared and reappeared.

3). It hung so low in the atmosphere that they could distinguish which house it hung over. Jerusalem and Bethlehem were only a few miles apart.

B. THEY SAW SOMETHING SUPERNATURAL

1. A NEW STAR! Chinese astronomers recorded the appearance of a new star in 4 B.C. (Lange’s, “Matt.,” p. 57).

2. UNUSUAL LOCATION

3. STATIONARY over Israel – like a satellite – while all other stars moved across the sky.

4. HUMOR

a. A Pastor was preaching on the Wise Men. His main points formed the acrostic “STAR.”

b. The Pastor had 4 kids bring placards onto the platform at the end to spell the word “STAR.”

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