Why Would the Bible Call the Men from the East, Wise?
Introduction (1 Cor 10:15)
A. The apostle Paul wrote to people he called smart, wise, rational, intelligent
B. But what is it that makes a person not just smart, but "wise?"
C. A whole lot of emphasis on being "smart" these days - education, technology - but little or no emphasis on "wisdom"
D. Back in Matthew 2, the Bible calls some men, "wise men" - I wonder why?
Message - What
Was So Wise About the Wise Men? (Matthew
A. Their Direction was Smart (Mt 2:1) - East to West
1. Guided first by available information
a. An Old Testament up to the Book of Daniel
b. Nature - Psalms 19
c. Super-natural events
2. Going against the conventional wisdom of the day
a. Most of the world considered their own way of thinking the best. In Babylon, the people had a "proud" heritage of wisdom, and intelligence. The princes and scientists were called "magi" which means someone who could see the truth through all the confusion
b. Yet these men left their own way of thinking, their own community
c. Everybody was headed east - the trade routes were primarily with China and Mongolia
d. Yet these men headed west a long time before it was popular to do so
e. Nobody stopped in Jerusalem, much less Israel itself - it was just a little do-nothing of a country only "on-the-way" to bigger and better cities and countries
B. Their Desire was Smart (Mt 2:2-3) - To Worship the King
1. In that day, people worshipped anything and everything required
a. Caesar - required everyone to acknowledge him as their lord and god!
b. Herod was afforded a lot of "worship" by people - expected it
c. Nature - sun, moon, meteor rocks were parts of regular worship
d. Whatever gods were in vogue of the day - people just went along
2. But these men's desire was known unto all Jerusalem - they had been asking everyone they met where the new King was - thought EVERYONE would know about Him!
3. Their desire was known even to the then reigning "king" of the Jews
C. Their Discovery was Smart (Mt 2:4-6). That the Bible had the answer to where Jesus would be born - just in a small Book called Micah
1. They adjusted their direction according to the word of God
2. Nobody ever stayed on the "strait and narrow" way without making some course corrections - don't be too proud not to let God's word adjust your thinking and life!
D. Their Departure was Smart (Mt 2:7-9a) - no need to hang around Jerusalem any more, now that they knew "the King" wasn't there. Earthly kings and palaces were small time operations compared to the King of Kings!
E. Their Diligence was Smart (Mt 2:9,10)
1. Going through all the small streets and lanes of an old town like Bethlehem, with Camels, and a stash of treasures was not an easy thing. And searching for a baby, who did not have a halo, or an angelic band playing around Him was not going to be easy.
2. It was going to take some diligence on their part - and they were determined to do it
3. And because of their determination, God made it easier for them - God gave them light as they sought the light! The star did not reappear until they had determined to keep on going until they found the baby Jesus
a. God waits most often for us to get moving in our lives for Him before He makes anything any easier for us
b. Never worshipped the star, or prayed to the star - just let it point!
F. Their Dismissal was Smart (Mt 2:11a)
1. They dismissed the humble surroundings
a. Out of the way - in a small village, off the beaten path
b. Very poor
1) So poor that Joseph and Mary couldn't even afford a lamb for their offering to God for their new son - only able to afford two small turtledoves
2) But not homeless, (now they were in a house - Joseph had found work). Just not much to show for their lives
2. They dismissed all the other people in the room. No acknowledgment of Mary's presence, much less even of Joseph's
3. They dismissed even themselves
a. They, who were wise men, possibly kings or princes of their realm back in Babylon, ignored who and what they were and just fell prostrate to the ground
b. They ignored protocol (genuflecting, co-admiration) just hit the dirt!
c. They sought nothing but surrender! AMEN!
d. And all of it was for a little 2 year old baby - great humiliation in the world's sense
e. But these guys were smart - they were truly wise
G. Their Devotion was Smart (Mt 2:11b) - from the total heart
1. They loved this little baby - not like a parent does their child, but like a child does their parent
2. They brought gifts to this baby - treasures - priceless - their best
a. Didn't bring ALL the gold - just their best gold
b. Didn't bring all the Myrrh - a medicine, and perfume
c. Didn't bring all the Frankincense - an incense for worship
d. It was the best they had - and that is all that Christ wanted!
3. They worshipped this little baby - worship that is due only to God
4. THAT is devotion - when it is all directed at Jesus, and when a life is lived only FOR Jesus, then you have begun to live a life of devotion!
A. Their Direction was Smart - Go against the crowd - Go where God leads, guided by the Bible, and by supernatural events in your own life!
B. Their Desire was Smart - What is your desire in life? Ought to be to Worship the King - to live daily His praises to sing - THAT is smart! Most other people only sing the praises of the gods of this world!
C. Their Discovery was Smart. Have you discovered like these men that the Bible has the answer, and can direct your footsteps in life? Allow God's word to constantly direct your decisions
D. Their Departure was Smart - I don't hang around with the old crowd anymore - I have so many new friends, and places to go that I don't just "hang around" with people who don't want Jesus, much less worship Him.
E. Their Diligence was Smart - how hard are you working at trying to find Jesus in your own life? Well, let me tell you, He's looking harder for YOU! Not that He hasn't found you yet, but is trying to get your attention! Be diligent in your search of the Scriptures, and God will give you more and more light! Promise!
F. Their Dismissal was Smart - forget about the things we see, and the buildings we meet in and the lack we seem to have - dismiss the people's short-comings, and failures - dismiss even your own selves, and empty yourself at the foot of the Saviour!
G. Their Devotion was Smart - worship Jesus! It is the smartest thing you will ever do - worship Him first thing when you wake up, all day long, and even as you drift off to sleep each night - that is smart - and that is Life at its best!