Sermons

Summary: THIS IS A CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE

WHERE IS THE KING

MATTHEW 2:1-12

THERE ARE ONLY TWO ACCOUNTS OF THE BIRTH OF CHRIST GIVEN IN THE BIBLE. LUKE’S ACCOUNT SPEAKS OF THE ACTUAL NIGHT OF JESUS’ BIRTH. MATTHEW’S ACCOUNT TELLS OF SUBSEQUENT DETAILS OF THE CHRISTMAS ACCOUNT, ALL IMPORTANT PARTS OF THE STORY.

THE JOURNEY OF THE MAGI TO BETHLEHEM IS NOT MENTIONED IN LUKE’S ACCOUNT, AND IN READING THE ACCOUNT IN MATTHEW WE FIND THAT IT OCCURRED SEVERAL MONTHS, POSSIBLY AS MUCH AS TWO YEARS AFTER THE BIRTH OF CHRIST. IT IS NONETHELESS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE CHRISTMAS MESSAGE AND DESERVES TO BE INCLUDED AS PART OF THE CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS.

MATTHEW WRITES HIS BOOK FROM A JEWISH STANDPOINT AND SO ANCESTRY IS AN IMPORTANT COMPONANT FOR HIM. THE GENEOLOGY HE LISTS IN CHAPTER ONE, TRACES THE LINEAGE OF CHRIST ALL THE WAY BACK TO ABRAHAM. MOST JEWS OF JESUS TIME LIKE TO BE ABLE TO TRACE THEIR LINEAGE BACK TO ABRAHAM. TO BE ABLE TO DO SO MEANT THAT YOU WERE A PART OF GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE.

MATTHEW DOES SOMETHING UNIQUE FOR HIS TIME IN THAT HE INCLUDED THREE WOMEN IN HIS GENEOLOGY. RAHAB HID THE TWO SPIES THAT WERE SENT TO INVESTIGATE THE PROMISED LAND, AND RUTH WAS THE GREAT-GRANDMOTHER OF DAVID. THE OTHER WOMAN TO BE MENTIONED WAS MARY, AS THE MOTHER OF JESUS. MATTHEW IS VERY CAREFUL NOT TO LIST JOSEPH AS THE FATHER OF JESUS, BUT ONLY AS THE HUSBAND OF MARY. THIS IS BECAUSE JOSEPH WAS NOT JESUS’ FATHER.

LUKE 1:34-35:

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

THE MAGI OF CHAPTER TWO HAVE BEEN GIVEN OTHER NAMES THROUGH THE YEARS, BUT THEIR PART IN THE CHRISTMAS STORY IS OF VITAL IMPORTANCE. WE BELIEVE THEY CAME FROM PERSIA OR MODERN DAY IRAN. IT IS FROM THEIR NAME THAT WE GET THE WORDS MAGIC AND MAGICIAN.

IT WAS TO THIS AREA THAT THE JEWISH PEOPLE WERE LED AS CAPTIVES DURING THE TIME OF DANIEL, SO THE MAGI WOULD HAVE ACCESS TO MUCH JEWISH HISTORY AND WRITING AND THEY WOULD KNOW SOMETHING OF THE PROPHECY OF THE MESSIAH.

BUT FOR US TONIGHT THE QUESTION THAT WE MUST LOOK AT IS THE QUESTION THE MAGI ASKED IN VERSE 1

MATTHEW 2:1: “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.”

MAGI WERE ASTROLOGERS AND THEY BELIEVED THAT WHEN A SGINIFIVANT BIRTH TOOK PLACE, SUCH AS THE BIRTH OF A KING, THAT THE STARS WOULD ANNOUNCE THE KING’S BIRTH WITH A BRIGHT STAR. THEY SAW SUCH A STAR WHEN JESUS WAS BORN, AND DECIDED TO FOLLOW IT. THEY BEGAN THEIR SEARCH FOR A KING.

THE JOURNEY WOULD TAKE THEM SEVERAL MONTHS. THEY HAD TO PUT THEIR CARAVAN TOGETHER, GET AS MUCH INFORMATION AS THEY COULD ABOUT THE STAR, AND MAKE A PERSONAL COMMITTMENT TO THEMSELVES NOT TO STOP UNTIL THEY FOUND THE KING THE STAR WAS LEADING THEM TO. AT THIS POINT THEY DID NOT KNOW IT WAS JESUS.

JERUSALEM AND BETHLEHEM WERE VERY CLOSE TOGETHER, WITH ONLY ABOUT EIGHT MILES SEPARATING THE TWO. THE MAGI LOOKING FOR A KING WENT TO JERUSALEM FOR THAT WAS WHERE HEROD RESIDED. SURELY HE WOULD KNOW WHERE THE NEW KING WAS.

HEROD THOUGH HAD PAID NO ATTENTION TO THE BABE OF BETHLEHEM WHEN HE WAS BORN. HAD HE THOUGHT IT TO BE A THREAT HE WOULD HAVE ORDERED THE DEATHS OF THE CHILDREN IMMEDIATELY. HE HAD NO IDEA OF THE REALITY OF THE THREAT OF A NEW KING UNTIL HE SPOKE TO THE WISE MEN.

HEROD CALLED THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS TOGETHER AND DETERMINED FROM THE MAGI WHEN THE STAR FIRST APPEARED, AND FORMULATED A BACKUP PLAN.

HEROD VIEWED HIMSELF TO BE VERY SMART AND FELT HE COULD OUTSMART THE MAGI. HE TOLD THEM TO GO FIND THE KING AND THEN COME BACK AND TELL HIM WHERE HE WAS SO HE COULD PAY HOMMAGE AS WELL.

THIS IN FACT WAS A LIE. HEROD WANTED THE MAGI TO LOCATE JESUS AND TELL HEROD SO THAT HEROD COULD HAVE JESUS MURDERED. I BELIEVE HE WAS THEN GOING TO MURDER THE MAGI AND TIE UP ANY LOOSE ENDS.

WHAT HEROD DIDN’T UNDERSTAND IS THAT SOMETHING HAPPENED TO THE MAGI THE NIGHT THEY FOUND JESUS. THEY CAME SEARCHING FOR A GREAT KING. WHEN THEY FOUND JESUS THEY FOUND THE KING. THE BIBLE SAYS THAT JESUS IS THE “KING OF KINGS”. THEIR LIVES WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME AFTER THAT MEETING.

THE KING THAT THEY WERE IN THE PRESENCE OF, JESUS, IN THEIR EYES WAS WORTH THEIR BEST. THEY BROUGHT OUT THEIR EXPENSIVE GIFTS, NOT HOLDING ANY BACK, AND LAID THEM AT THE FEET OF JESUS. THIS IS ACTUALLY A PREVIEW OF WHAT WE WILL DO AS CHRISTIANS WHEN WE RECEIVE OUR CROWNS AS REWARDS IN HEAVEN.

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