Summary: In their searching and finding of Jesus, the Wise men provide 3 clear directions for staying connected to Jesus in a New Year.
Wise Men Consultants: Directions for a New Year
Matthew 2:1-12 (New International Version)
1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, “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.”
3When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5”In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6”’But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’”
7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
INTRODUCTION: Can You Hear Me Now?
A farmer, in his corral, is wiping his brow in disbelief. There, milling about looking for feed, are 200 dachshunds. As though reading his mind, Sprint’s trench-coated cell phone specialist tells the rancher that the problem may be his cell phone. “What did you say?” he asks.
“I ordered 200 oxen and got 200 dachshunds!”
“Umm. Static,” says the Sprint guy before a dachshund stampede ensues.
Verizon Wireless has their guy with dark hair and glasses prowling around the beach, the street, a mall, and your neighborhood asking, “Can you hear me now? Gooood!”
The wise men could have used a cell phone in their day. Somehow while on the way to meet baby Jesus, they lost their reception. Stories about the wise men have been repeated through the centuries since Jesus’ birth. Some site 12 seekers, others 6, some 4, and most 3 since 3 gifts were given. The Biblical narrative gives no exact number, just the plural wise men.
What we do know is that on their journey, they got lost, showed up at the wrong place, were late for Jesus’ birth, and had to sneak home. Sounds like a low rate consultation group to be giving direction for a New Year. Yet incredibly with only a star to guide them, they found Jesus and in their searching and finding of Jesus, they provide 3 clear directions for a New Year. Today let’s look at
Wise Men Consultants: Directions for a New Year
DIRECTION 1: Study God’s Word: Seek God’s direction for your life. The story begins in Matthew 2:1-2, 1Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea when Herod was king. After Jesus’ birth wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem. 2They asked, “Where is the one who was born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star rising and have come to worship him.” -- (GOD’S WORD)
A little 3 and a 1/2-year old boy named Matthew was eating an apple in the back seat of the car, when he asked, “Daddy, why is my apple turning brown?”
“Because,” his father explained, “after you ate the skin off, the meat of the apple came into contact with the air which caused it oxidize thus changing its molecular structure and turning it into a different color.” There was a long silence. Then Matthew asked softly, “Daddy, are you talking to me?”
Sometimes the Old Testament intimidates us like the father’s explanation to his son. But when we listen to what God says, we discover it is in the Old Testament, hundreds of years before Jesus is born that God says, “The king of the Jews would be born in Bethlehem.” God’s Word is the map that shows the way to Christ, or more importantly that Christ is already working within us and in our lives before we see that he is there. It was this God who had provided the star, the prophecy, and the place where his Son would be found, worshipped, and adored. In searching the scriptures, the Jews knew where the child was to be born, so they tell the wise men in Matthew 2:5-6, 5They told him, “Bethlehem, Judah territory. The prophet Micah wrote it plainly: 6It’s you, Bethlehem, in Judah’s land, no longer bringing up the rear. From you will come the leader who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel.” -- (The Message)