“The Mysterious Magi!”
READ: Matthew 2:1-12
§ The characters of Christmas – teach us a great deal – about the meaning of Christmas.
§ We do not know – a great deal – about those called – “wise men”
Also known as “Magi” in the scriptures
§ We do not know – really how many there were
§ Tradition says – 3 – because of the 3 gifts
§ were from either Persia or Babylon
§ they served as religious – civil - & political counsel to the kings of Media & Persia
§ studied the stars – interpreted dreams
§ Daniel – and his friends – joined a group of wise men there.
This group of Magi…
§ could have been influence – by the Jews
§ they possibly – were looking forward – to the coming of the King of the Jews!
§ probably learned much – through the prophet – Daniel.
The Star! speculation of the star….
§ regardless of how God did it – God used the star to signal to the Magi
§ that the King had been born!
The Hope of the Magi – was strong enough to compel them!
§ They were “Purpose Motivated!”
§ it was not…curiosity – that sent them on the journey 100’s or thousand miles
§ didn’t make the trip – just to see – if their calculations were right!
§ great expense & risk – was involved
§ They came seeking – that they might worship Him!
§ They understood – the supernatural character – of the baby
§ and traveled to Jerusalem!
They Came to Jerusalem – Because It was The Jewish Capital! vs 2
§ they were looking for the king – so they came to Jerusalem!
§ the Magi – upset the whole city…. vs 3… “When Herod the king heard this he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”
§ the Magi – probably traveled – with a whole cavalry
§ their arrival – must have created – quite a stir.
It was their question – that disturbed the city! And Herod!
Matthew 2:3-5NKJV 3When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
The Interesting thing is….. Matthew no sooner introduced us to Jesus…in chp 1
as Jesus – Son of Abraham – Son of David – Israel’s destined King…..
than he introduced us – to another ruler! Herod!
Herod… Herod the Great – was the founder of a dynasty – that played a key role
in Gospel history!
§ he ruled from 47 BC – 4 BC
§ he was aged – and nearing the end of life – in Matthew 2
§ he was brutal & decisive
§ he punished & executed his enemies
He killed everyone around him – who threatened his position as king.
Among those he had killed:
§ Three of his own sons
§ His favorite wife – Mariamne
§ His mother-in-law
§ His brother-in-law
§ His uncle
§ 300 court officers – who protested the execution – of 2 of his sons
§ Approaching his death – Herod had a group of elite citizens of Jerusalem…..
arrested & imprisoned.
§ He had given orders – that the moment he died – they were to be killed – so that some tears would be shed – when he died!
Herod was disturbed – at the Magi’s question –
He did not want any rival for the throne!
Israel was disturbed – Because when Herod was disturbed –
He disturbed everyone around him!
Born in Bethlehem: vs 6
vs 6 ….. is referring to Micah 5:2 pg 815
Micah 5:2NKJV 2“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”
§ it’s amazing – no one bothered – to accompany the Magi – to Bethlehem!
§ Today – many will not travel – one mile to worship Christ [Bethlehem was 4 miles]
§ Magi – faced over – a 40 Day journey!
Back – to the – Star! vs 9-10
Matthew 2:9-10NKJV 9When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.
There is a lot of speculation – about the STAR….
§ was it a comet – a supernova – or what?
§ It Was God’s Star!
It Was HIS Star!
§ Star – was preaching about Christ!
§ we don’t know – the color – the shape – or the size!
§ But It Was His Star…
§ Magi declare….. in vs 2 - “…we have seen HIS star!”
§ It was – a “preaching star!”
We must never attempt – To Shine for Ourselves!
§ labor to shine for Him!
§ may it be plain – That You Are – His STAR!
§ HE – Is – The Bright and Morningstar!
§ Let your light so shine………
READ: Matt 2:11
Matthew 2:11NKJV 11And 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 wise men were wise – because they worshiped the Child – not His mother!
There were – MORE THAN JUST THREE THINGS – given to the Christ….
A. They gave of themselves!
§ “they….fell down – and worshipped him!
§ their worship – was spontaneous A willing expression of their devotion!
§ their worship – was a surrender – to His authority
§ they acknowledge – His right – to rule in their lives!
§ They gave – their greatest gift – themselves!
God doesn’t want – our gifts…..until He first has – our hearts & lives.
B. They gave of their treasures!
§ they came to give – and not to get!
C. Gold – Frankincense – Myrrh
1. Gold – royalty Associated with the majesty of kings the baby’s royalty
2. Frankincense – suggest His HUMANITY it was a priestly gift – used in the worship at the temple used in sacrifices..offered up to God!
3. Myrrh – suggest His MORTALITY A fragrant perfume often used in embalming.
The Wise Men found Jesus…..
You can fin Him & receive the gift of eternal life today!
The Wise men found Jesus – at His first coming!......
When He come again – will He find you watching for His coming?
Titus 2:11-14NIV 11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Jesus came the first time – just as the Scriptures said He would!
That’s why we know – that Jesus will come again!
The Magi…… WORSHIPED….
§ in the light of the star
§ in light of the Scripture
§ in the presence – of the Savior