Summary: Contrast the magi and Herod’s response to Christmas and rate our response to theirs.
When the excitement of Christmas is over what’s there to do?
by Pastor Andrew Chan, PBC, Vancouver, BC
overheard: I love Christmas, I receive a lot of presents I just can’t wait to exchange. Yes, Dec.25th 1999, a memory now. Had a great two days, choir was great, music celebration with all the singing, instruments, beautiful, exciting to be in candlelight service, spend Christmas eve and day with friends and family, feeling the love of God, but it is now today, boxing day, back to business, sounds of commerce rings outs as boxing day sales fill our North Am. Landscape…
What happens after Christmas? Dinner is done, presents are opened, guests have left, celebration is done… All the excitement has died down.
Shopping… back to business as usual?
The story of the Magi’s visit helps us to understand what God would want us to think about
2:1 Magi came from the east to visit the child Jesus.
The timing of the visit, notice is not immediately
After Jesus was born, did not say how long after
look down v.16, approx. 2 years
common manger scene with the wise men bending over an infant Jesus, a baby is wrong, more likely it was a toddler Jesus, a child,
v.11 suggests a house, not an inn, nor a stable, nor a manger scene.
Bu t what is significant about this is
the question they asked v.2
1. dedication and devotion:
Remember who is born on Christmas
a. The Magi:
“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We
saw his star in the east, and have come to worship him”(v.2).
weary travelers, imagine those days traveling, fear of robbers
esp. carrying treasures of gold, incense and myrrh (v.11) no RCMP around to patrol highways, travel w/o a place like Holiday Inn, where you find indoor pool and sauna, stinky, and totally worn out if travel by camel or horse, try riding one of those things for hours, feel sore, smell the animals and then yourself, not pleasant, did this for close to 2 years, talk about persistence… travel into a land they obviously do not know too much about, because they went right to the capital city, Jerusalem, asking for directions… sense they were excited knew they were close by still no cigar.
Excited - we have come to worship him
recognize - significance of one born king of the Jews
Remember a time when Jeany and I traveled to NC in a little red Dodge Colt going for BGSE, being poor students did not want to spend money on motel, and another thing nobody spoke English there in the South, but two whole days on road from Wpg Manitoba to Asheville we were dead tired when we finally reached destination, I think Jeany was more tired, cause she drove all the way through the Smokey Mountains
The highway in that range was narrow and as she did not trust my driving, she drove whole way. Why? We were newly marrieds, she didn’t dare to upset me. Two whole days, no motel rest, driving through the night, it was murder. Remember us stopping at one rest areas, both of us knocked out. Can’t take it anymore. Just gotta stop!
Then I think of this guys, two years on the road, and us 2 days!
These guys must be convinced something great is going on!!!
And they were!
Excited, and us we were cranky, mind you zipping around in a two door colt is luxurious compared to what this Magi went through.
If we had to travel two years we’d given up and went home.
“Where did the prophets say the Christ would be born?” he asked them (v.4).
He did not know even about the Christ being born, he had to ask.
On his home turf, the Savior born, and he did not know it.
It took some travel-weary foreigners to alert him to the fact.
Here is Herod: a “believer” born into Jewish faith
Probably goes to church have right type of religious upbringing, at least he had the smarts enuff to seek religious experts
“I too may go and worship him” (v.8) convince some people that he
is somewhat spiritually attuned.
Obviously affluent, being King and all, lived in great capital city of Jerusalem (v.3).
But was disturbed with the news of one born king of the Jews.
So was the rest of the city.
his response was pretense to worship… murder… (v.16)
Dedication of Herod was to do away with what disturbed him and led to murder
Dedication of Magi was to worship and brought joy
Makes you think? After excitement Christmas is over
What is you feel? Little disturbed, little more joy.
Would you check what you’re dedicated to?