Faithlife Sermons

Draw Near to Worship Jesus as King

Let Earth Receive Her King  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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When we draw near to Jesus it requires us to worship Him as King with all humility and honor.

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Transcript

Introduction

I want to begin by thanking you all, on behalf of the church, for your flexibility and patience.
A virtual Christmas Eve Service was not our original plan, but that is how God intended it to go.
In fact, God has used that video on Facebook, and now on the church website, in ways we never could have accomplished just in person.
As of this past week, the video has 547 views on Facebook, with 366 unique viewers as a result of the video being shared 11 times.
So, thank you for those who shared that video with others that they could be blessed by it as well.
Many of you, no doubt, have had the chance to watch that virtual service and have heard the message I gave.
If you haven't yet seen the video and wish to do so, again you may find it on the church Facebook page and the church website, tefc.net.
Because many of you have already heard the message I gave that day or have the opportunity now to listen to it online, I want to share something different with you tonight.
If you came here tonight expecting to hear the same thing, don't worry!
You won't!
Or maybe for some reason, you wanted to hear the same message.
Sorry!
According to the church calendar, four days ago on January 6th is a day marked as Epiphany, the day many Christians around the world commemorate the arrival of the magi in Bethlehem to worship Jesus.
Seeing then as how Epiphany was just a few days ago, I think it would be appropriate for us to spend a few moments learning from these historical "wise guys"!
They are found in Matthew chapter 2 verses 1 through 12, but I'm just going to read the bookends of this passage.
Hear the Word of the Lord:
Matthew 2:1–2, 10–11 (ESV)
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, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
No one knows for sure who these magi were.
Contrary to the song “We Three Kings” they were not kings and there may not have even been three of them.
Matthew only says that they gave three types of gifts.
They didn’t show up at the manger on the night of Christ’s birth, but rather at a house some time later.
We don’t know what country they came from.
Our best guess is that they were from a prominent class of royal advisors in Persia who studied astronomy, astrology, science, and religion.
In the book of Daniel, "magi” is used of a class of men who interpreted dreams and divine messages to the king.
Perhaps they had heard about the Messiah from the Jews who remained in their country since the Babylonian captivity.
They may have read from the prophet Daniel, since he was a prominent leader in Babylon and Persia centuries before.
Somehow they had a knowledge of the Jewish Messiah and the meaning of this supernatural star that appeared in the night sky.
What we do know for sure according to Matthew is this:
The wise men responded to the light God gave them by seeking the Lord Jesus Christ with one purpose:
They proclaimed, “We have come to worship the One born King of the Jews” (2:2).
Whether they were absolutely clear on this child’s divine nature or not, we don’t know.
But their words and actions point to more than the homage one would pay to an earthly king.
After all, they gave no such worship to Herod.
They must have at least known that this child King was the One Daniel described in Daniel 7 as “One like a Son of Man” to whom “was given dominion, and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which will not pass away; and His kingdom one that will not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:13-14).
In spite of many obstacles, these magi sought this newborn King until they found Him; and upon finding Him, they worshiped Him.
This narrative is a perfect example of what it means and what is required to draw near to Jesus. Draw near.
That’s our 2021 theme, if you haven’t caught on to that yet.
These magi are remembered for being “wise men”, I believe in part, because they responded to God’s revelation, this supernatural star in the sky, with the purpose of drawing near to the newborn King of the Jews to offer Him reverent worship.
With the little time we have, I want us to learn to follow the magi’s example and draw near to Jesus in order to worship Him as King, which requires first...

Humbling Ourselves

...That we humble ourselves.
Consider what the wise men had to go through and do in order to draw near to the child Jesus.
They had to
....traverse afar, field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star.
Trisha and I only had to travel some 500 miles up to Minnesota for Christmas, but we had a car to do that!
These magi didn’t have that luxury.
They were probably men of wealth and some measure of power, accustomed to a spacious home, and enjoyed a comfortable palace life.
Their journey meant giving those things up for a time.
No car to travel in.
No McDonald’s drive-thru to order from,
and no warm hotel rooms to stay at.
They had to travel by night, presumably, to follow the star that God fixed in the sky, so it would have been cold, dark, and perfect for robbers to take advantage of them.
In spite of the hassle and the difficulties they had to face, they deemed it worth the trouble if only they found this King.
They came to Bethlehem desiring to worship Jesus because to them He was worth worshipping.
Consider also who these magi were.
They were dignified men back in their homeland.
Important leaders and political influencers of thought, science, and even religion.
Yet, what do we see them doing upon finding the Christ child?
“They fell down and worshiped Him” (v. 11).
Contrast their humble worship with Herod.
Herod claimed that he wanted to worship this new King, too.
But, this we know was an empty pledge.
Herod was too proud to leave his throne to go to Bethlehem because Jesus was a threat to his own rule.
Even the Jewish religious leaders were so indifferent toward their supposed newborn Messiah King that they wouldn’t travel the five miles with the magi to Bethlehem.
Nevertheless, despite the difficulties, the indifference of others, and the distain of a tyrant king, the wise men entered into a common Jewish home, fell down onto the dirt floor, and offered their worship to a child;
to a King who hadn’t done anything for them yet.
Humility.
That is what it takes to draw near to Jesus in order to worship Him as your King.
King Jesus’ kingdom is completely opposite from the kingdom of this world!
It’s upside down, backwards, flipped.
Listen to how Jesus’ half-brother, James, relates humility and drawing near to God:
James 4:6, 8 (ESV)
6 “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
The way up to draw near to God and receive His grace is to lower yourself down before Him with humility.
But, the way down to destruction and receive His disfavor is to puff yourself up above Him with pride.
The magi humbled themselves to the dirt to draw near to Jesus in order to worship Him as King.
We should do no less, don’t you think?
We must do no less!
Humbling ourselves is required of us to draw near and worship the King.
When we come to Jesus as we truly are then we may worship Him for who He really is.

Honoring Jesus

Secondly, we should follow the magi’s example and draw near to Jesus in order to worship Him as King, which requires honor.
If ever we are to draw near to Christ to worship Him as King, it will require honoring Him.
The wise men clearly honored Jesus.
They followed God’s guidance to His Son, that honored God’s revelation.
They sought and inquired diligently in Jerusalem where they might find the newborn King, even making an audience with king Herod, that honored God too.
And then they rejoiced upon finding the house they sought, entered it, and fell down before Jesus in worship, offering Him gifts fit for a King.
The magi worshiped a child in Bethlehem, honoring Him as a King.
A child to us doesn’t usually prompt us to worship it.
But, this child was different to them, indeed utterly unique to the universe!
He is the child Isaiah spoke of, the One upon whose shoulders would rest the government of the cosmos, who would be called “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”, the child who would reign on David’s throne forever and ever.
Think about this: the wise men honored a child, worshipped Jesus as King apart from anything He had done.
They simply worshipped Jesus for who He was.
Their worship was rooted on Jesus’ identity.
They treated Him as He deserved:
Worthy of all worship, worthy of everything they could give to Him.
How much more should we honor and worship Jesus tonight?
We, who have the benefit of honoring and worshiping, not a babe in Bethlehem, but the Christ of Calvary, the Savior of sinners, the Living Lord, the Returning and Conquering King!?
Not only do we have the blessing of loving who Jesus is according to Scripture, but we have the privilege of learning what He has done for us through His incarnation.
According to the predetermined plan of God,
Jesus obediently left His throne in heaven,
took on human flesh,
became a servant for our sake,
lived a perfectly righteous life before His Father for our sake,
died an innocent, sinless Substitute on the cross to take God’s judgment for our sake,
rose again from the grave leading us out of our own graves,
ascended into heaven and is seated even now at the right hand of the Majesty on High interceding for us,
and is coming back physically, literally, bodily to reign over us all once He purges this awful world of all wickedness and evil doers.
This is the King we learn of in Scripture.
This is the King who we love.
The magi only had fragments of who this newborn King was and probably had no idea what He would do for them in His 30 some years of life on this earth or through His death.
But we do!
If anything should make you desire to draw near to Jesus to worship Him as King, to honor Him as your Lord, it should be the fact that He drew near to you to save you from sin and sin’s consequences,
that He still draws near to His people through His Spirit to sanctify us onto Himself,
and has promised to draw near to be with all His redeemed forever one day to shine His glory upon us.
If Jesus is not “your” King, will you receive Him tonight, humbling yourself before Him to honor Him as your King, your Lord and Savior, your God?

Conclusion

Let this be a night, a year, where we draw near to Jesus to worship Him as King.
Let us all humble ourselves before Him and let us all honor and adore Him.
Let us receive our King!

Benediction

Go now, strengthened by the testimony of Christ. Keep alert and wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. Continue to do right and remember God in your ways.
And may God enrich you in speech and knowledge of every kind as you draw near to Him; May Christ Jesus strengthen you to the end; And may the Holy Spirit guide you in faithful living until He appears.
We go in peace to love and serve our King.
For His glory.
AMEN.
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