Summary: Examining the story of the wise men using the question, "where?"
Matthew 2: 1 – 12 / Where?
Intro: Gift giving has been a part of the Christmas holiday season for centuries. When my children were small they always received 3 gifts at Christmas b/c it was a way of teaching them that the Christ child received 3 gifts when He was born. I enjoyed shopping for my children and narrowing the choices to 3 was no easy task. I heard about a dad recently who suggested that his family get him a gift that everyone could get something out of. So they got him a wallet! --- And it’s not easy to know what to buy your spouse. One husband asked his wife what she wanted for Christmas. She said, “Just surprise me!” So he did. At 3 AM on Christmas Day, he leaned over in bed and shouted, “Boo!”
I. Supposedly, it is this story recorded only in Matthew that is responsible for the whole idea of giving gifts at Christmas. But just who were these guys and where did they come from?
A. We have little information about these men. We don’t know their names. In the original manuscripts they are called “magi” which comes from an ancient Iranian word, “magoi” which was used to describe people who acted in very strange ways, were captivated by astrology, spells and incantations and dressed in a very bizarre manner.
B. We know they came from the EAST. If you look at a map, you begin to realize that EAST could be anywhere.
C. Wherever they came from, we know it had to be a long way.
II. Someone has suggested that the reason why these men are so famous is that they are the only men in history known to stop and ask directions.
A. VS, 2 – “where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?” Where had they learned of the circumstances of the birth of Jesus? Had they heard it from shepherds? Were they from the ancient land of Babylonia where the Jews had been held captive so long ago? Where had they learned about this king?
B. They knew a baby had been born; but, they didn’t know where. They knew he was a King; but didn’t know His name.
C. The Magi believed that a star could be the fravashi (counterpart or angel) of a great man.
Conclu: What can we learn from these “WISE GUYS?”
1) They worshiped Christ with their praise and their gifts.
2) They were willing to take action.
3) They were eager to seek the Messiah and did whatever it took to find Him.
Where are you headed?