Summary: The Wisemen sought after the Word Incarnate. We should learn from their example and seek Jesus through the Word made Script.
What’s the Bright Idea?
I. My 1st view of the magi
a. 1st or 2nd grade
b. Thee Wise-guys! Moe, Larry, and Curly
c. My Epiphany!
i. Can you say that word in Church?
ii. Definition: a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something; an intuitive grasp of reality through something usually simple and striking; a blinding glimpse of the obvious
iii. Melchior, Balthazar, and Caspar
Transition: So, now I knew who these three men were, but what did they want? Why do we commemorate them? Tuesday, 6 January is Epiphany, or Three Kings Day. It has long been celebrated by the church as a day to remember the magi. Let’s look at our scripture to find the answer. Let’s see what the Bible says about why we remember these men.
II. What did they want?
a. They sought the Word made Flesh
i. John 1:1-2,14
ii. Isaiah 60:1-6
iii. Genesis 1:14 (with caution!)
1. They followed a celestial sign
2. God put the stars there as signs
3. God told us NOT to use the stars as signs
b. They sought a King
i. One who was foretold
ii. One for whom the Heaven’s spoke (the celestial sign)
iii. The first Gentile worshipers
1. Matthew 2:11
c. Jesus was for all humanity
i. Luke 2:10
ii. Ephesians 3:4-6
iii. NOTE: v4 (What is written)
Transition: The Magi came to seek the Word made Flesh. Note from our reading, there number was not specified. They are not referred to as kings. These are assumptions. Did any of you know that? They aren’t even named! But, they give us a valuable lesson. They sought for the Word made Flesh. If we follow their lead, we will earnestly seek for the Word made Script
III. The Word made Script
a. Paul in Ephesians 3:4
b. Our insights, our understanding
c. Have an epiphany daily!
d. My quest for Christ
i. I hated Paul
ii. I didn’t believe much
iii. Look at Luke’s errors!
1. That Quirinius was governor of Syria at the time of Jesus’ birth around 6 BC, Luke 2:1-3. This was regarded as an error because the only information we had placed Quirinius as governor of Syria in 6 AD. But an ancient inscription found in Antioch confirms that Quirinius was indeed governor of Syria in 7 BC as well.
2. That Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar, Luke 3:1. This fact was disputed until an inscription was found near Damascus, dated between 14 and 29 AD, which reads, "Freedman of Lysanius the tetrarch." Luke was right.
3. Sir William Ramsay began his career in archaeology as a confirmed skeptic. He believed that Luke and Acts were written late in the second century and were historically inaccurate. After working a lifetime in the field he concluded: "Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy, he is possessed of the true historic sense...in short, this author should be placed along with the greatest of historians."
Transition: I weighed all the evidence for and against the Bible. I could go on for hours, but, fortunately for you, I won’t. Suffice it to say this, while much of the Bible seems (SEEMS) improbable, when you weigh it against the alternative, it IS more likely the case. There is very little definitive proof, but the preponderance of the evidence demands faith in the Bible. But our society doesn’t like evidence. We would rather have the outlandish theory than the rational acceptance. Look at the OJ trial! The Bible is truth. It is God’s Word made Script! And you must, like the Magi, seek it out!
IV. Seeking the Word
a. Charles Spurgeon once said “There is enough dust on some of your Bibles to write “damnation” with your fingers!”
b. Other books were given for our information; the Bible was given for our TRANSFORMATION!
c. Reading time
i. Half the books can be read in 10 – 45 minutes, many in less than 20!
ii. The entire Bible can be read aloud, with expression, in 71 hours.
iii. Wilber M. Smith wrote, “It will probably astonish many to know that one single, normal issue of the Saturday Evening Post contains as much reading matter as the entire New Testatment. Thousands of people read The Saturday Evening Post through every week. The number of Christians who read the New Testament through every week, or even one whole book of the New Testament every week are so few that we need not talk about it.”
iv. I disagree, we DO need to talk about it.
d. R. A. Torrey
ii. 1889 D.L. Moody chose him to oversee Moody Bible Institute
iii. World wide evangelist