Summary: Why were the wisemen wise? This sermon reveals three characteristics of their lives and exhorts us to apply them to our lives.
WHY WERE THE WISEMEN WISE?
1. THEY SOUGHT GOD FIRST
Matthew 2:1-2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
2. THEY DID NOT ALLOW THE ENEMY TO DISTRACT THEM FROM THEIR PURPOSE
Matthew 2:8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also."
Matthew 2:12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
The enemy’s first and most used tactic is to distract us from our calling. He came in the Garden as a serpent, a deceiver, he tried to distract the wise men from their purpose to worship Jesus!
3. THEY GAVE THEIR BEST TO GOD
Matthew 2:11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
The three gifts of the Magi had a prophetic meaning: gold, the gift for a king; incense, the gift for a priest; and myrrh, a burial ointment as a gift for one who would die.
The first mentioned gift was gold.
Gold was the usual offering presented to kings by their subjects, or those wanting to pay respect. When the Magi presented gold, they were honoring Jesus with the very best that they possessed, and they were also recognizing that Jesus was King.
The second gift brought out of the boxes by the Magi was frankincense.
Frankincense is a very costly and fragrant gum distilled from a tree that is found in Persia, India and Arabia, as well as the East Indies. Frankincense is highly fragrant when burned, and was, therefore, used in worship, where it was burned as a pleasant offering to God. ("Aaron must burn fragrant incense on the altar every morning when he tends the lamps. He must burn incense again when he lights the lamps at twilight so incense will burn regularly before the LORD for the generations to come. - Exodus 30:7,8) ("He is to take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before the LORD and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense and take them behind the curtain." Leviticus 16:12).
The primary lesson from frankincense is that our worship is to be pleasing to God.
The last gift brought by the Magi was Myrrh.
Myrrh is an aromatic gum produced from a thorn-bush that grew in Arabia and Ethiopia, and was obtained from a tree in the same manner as frankincense. This thorny tree, called "balsamodendron myrrha", is similar to the acacia. It grows from eight to ten feet high, and is thorny. When it oozes from the wounded shrub, myrrh is a pale yellow color at first, but as it hardens, it changes to dark red or even black color.