Faithlife
Faithlife

Christmas Characters Magi Matthew 2

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Secular:

  • Who one the World Juniors Tournament?
  • We were in YVR Thursday night…
  • People were wearing paper old style hockey helmets…
  • Screaming…. Cheering… acting foolishly
  • Admittedly I was pleased…
  • 19,000+ pouring into the streets….
  • No mistaking what they believed… celebrated… even worshipped

Biblical:

Matthew 2:1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him." 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: 6 'AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.'" 7 Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him." 9 After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.

Personal:

  •  Minh…. Shirt off…
  • Healed welts…
  • Beat for escaping…
  • Knew the promise of North America…
  • Worth the sacrifice…
  • Caught twice
  • Second time… delivered bullets…
  • He had good information…. (freedom was worth pursuing)
  • He didn’t believe the deception… (not worth it)
  • He acted on it… (Even risked his life)

Bridge:

  •  We have a great and glorious saviour…
  • Revealed himself to us….
  • Given us his promise….
  • And yet we face the challenge… ourselves and others
  • But it is worth it!
  • Good Information
  • Deception
  • What we do with it…
  • IT IS ABOUT WORSHIP

Body:

Good Information:

Matthew 2:1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."

  • Talk to me about Jesus?
    • Someone shared….
    • Someone lived it…
    • Someone cared enough….
  •  So many Jews, still in exile…. Living in Persia
  •  There is lots of evidence that the Jews shared the promise of the Messiah… Numbers 24:17 "I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, A sceptre shall rise from Israel, And shall crush through the forehead of Moab, And tear down all the sons of Sheth.
  •  Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (69/70 AD - After 130 AD) or known as Suetonius was a prominent Roman historian… in his words…. “Throughout the whole of the East there had spread a belief: destiny had decreed that at that time men coming forth from Judea would seize power (and rule the world).”
  • The world made sense through Scripture…
    • "Mark Twain wrote, “It’s amazing how much my parents learned between my 16th and 21st birthdays.”"
    • The more you realize knowledge resides outside of us… the smarter we are…
  •  The commitment of the dispersed Jews… to the hope of their faith and the promised Messiah… influenced there host peoples…
    • Testified to the power of God’s Word
    • Testified to its validity…
  • Acting on good information it is the A team…
  • Best… brightest… pursuing truth
  • The travel would have been 900 miles.
    • 900 miles!... with Donkeys… or Camels….
    • 900 miles worth of food….
    • 900 miles with guards to protect these Wise Men
    • Servants…. Animals… These guys have an entourage
    • This is a big venture!
    • 900 miles with kids in a mini-van… takes some planning, patience… and really needs to be worth it!
  • Good Information spurred the desire to worship…
  • How many of you are reading Scripture daily….
  •  How many find that growing in your knowledge… understanding… sours you on to a greater desire to worship…
  • Not only does good information spur us on
  • It reminds us of our duty to worship
  • Good information… generated a good compulsion.
  • IT IS ABOUT WORSHIP

Deception:

7 Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him."

  •  Then the deception came…
  •  Closer to the truth we come…. The more others challenge… the more Satan challenges….
  •  Truth changes lives….
  • When the facts are seen clearly…. When truth comes to bear…. Our lives are changed…. Simple truths… eternal truths…
  • The response to truth is to accept or deny…
  • Accept changes us… calls us to something
  • Deny leaves us… elaborate systems to cope
  • Magi faced a desperate Herod
    • Serving self threatened
    • Earthy glory threatened
    • Nut Job!!...
      • killed his wife… too much favour
      • killed children… paranoid!
      • All about Herod! (palaces… protection… temple)
  •  Denial… fewer that believe less pressure!
  • Accept… Surrender
    • Focus on his Glory
  •  Don’t focus on the deception…
  • Pride creeps in… peer pressure mounts…
  •  It can be quite elaborate… pervasive… subversive…
  • Deception… claims souls…
  • Good information…. John 8:31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
  •  Lies ensnare…
  • Truth sets us free…
  • IT IS ABOUT WORSHIP

But,  it isn’t about Good Information… it is about what we do with it…

9 After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.

  •  Star… caused panic in Herod
  • Star… caused rejoicing in Magi
  • Arrive at Stable…
    • No Halo
    • No Neon Sign
    • What are we looking for…
      • A specific sign
    • No we are looking for…
  • Good information….
    • (Messianic promise…. Testimony of Jews… Testimony of God)
  •  They probably didn’t understand the nature of the Incarnation
  •  But they knew that he came as a messenger from heaven… to carry out the purposes of God… that he came with a mission
  •  And they brought there best
    • Gold… the best of metals
    • Incense… the sweetest of aromas
    • Myrrh… the most beautiful of perfumes
  • They risked Herod
  • They risked for truth
  • They obeyed!
  • 900 miles to meet Christ
  • 900 miles to Worship
  • (Uphill both way in father’s pyjamas)
  •  We do not have to risk life and limb to worship
  • But we do have our 900 miles to walk
  • Through deception… through pride… through self-interest… through sceptics…. Through sin…
  • But it is worth it….
  • Taking that information and doing that which is a soul level activity…
  • Core of who we are…
  • Our spirit… worships the Spirit
  • Our soul… rejoices in our Saviour
  • We bring our best… to the best!!
  •  it isn’t about Good Information… it is about what we do with it…
  • IT IS ABOUT WORSHIP

Good Information

  •  The powerful and historical witness….
  •  Of people willing to sacrifice…
  • Of people who stand firm… on good information
  •  Ignatius…

Deception

  •  You deserve…
  • It’s all about you… what you want… how you want it… when you want it…
  • Don’t buy in…
  • It is all about Jesus…
  • It is all about you in Christ…
  • Lies ensnare…
  • Truth sets us free…
  • There is Freedom in Jesus

It isn’t about Good Information… it is about what we do with it…

  •  Bring your best…
  •  It is worth the risk
  • It is worth the joy, the hope, the peace…
  • In comparison to the grace and love of God…
  • It is worth it!
  •  It is time for freedom… time surrender… time for love… time for hope…
  •  Romans 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  •  Don’t live timidly… live truth boldly!

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