Summary: The wise men sought to find Jesus. King Herod sought for Jesus. Why did they seek him and did their search have a life changing effect on them?
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Pastor James May
WISE MEN SEEK TO KNOW HIM
This morning our youth and children have done a great job in presenting a short play to us, impressing upon us the fact Jesus Christ, Mary’s son, and the Son of God are one and the same. Her question was so vitally important to everyone of the characters that she approached. That question is still the most important question that we could ever hear, “Do You Know Jesus”. I sincerely hope that you are able to answer with a resounding YES, I DO KNOW HIM!
We are often caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Season that we forget to stop and really know who it was that was born in that manger in Bethlehem and, most of all, for what reason was he born.
Today I want us to continue our examination of the characters of the Bible who were involved in the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. Last week we spoke of how that the poor shepherds upon the hills of Judea were suddenly awakened by the choir of Heaven’s angels and the announcement that Jesus had been born. As a result of that announcement they ran to the stable where Jesus lay and then became among the first evangelists to spread the news.
This morning I want us to look quickly at two other examples of men who heard the announcement. These men were King Herod and the Three Wise Men. Read along with me, if you will, the story of their reactions in the Word of God to the announcement of a newborn King in Israel.
Matthew 2:1-11 , "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh."
First, let’s look at the reaction of the 3 Wise Men from the East. These Wise Men are often referred to as the Magi or “magicians”. Their “magic” was not as so many who would be called magicians today for they were not involved in the occult arts, black magic, voodoo or any such thing. They were astronomers, scribes and seekers of truth and knowledge. They made it their business to study a multitude of cultures and religious belief systems.
Among those things that they studied were the writings of the Old Testament prophets and the Jewish historians. As a result of their studies they had come to the knowledge that a Messiah was to born in Israel and that this Messiah would be the new king of Israel and would deliver his people from their bondage.