I. Introduction -
A. Two thousand years ago, a group of men mounted up camels and donkeys and traveled some 900 miles west across desert from Babylon to Jerusalem just to have a glimpse of a promised child, and just to be able to worship Him as the King of kings and Lord of lords.
B. What they encountered and why are the very reasons for this Christmas day! I know that Christmas today is a day of gift opening, family, food, and fun, but there is something far more important and eternal of value than those things that drove these men to travel so far
Background (Read Matthew 2:1-12)
A. These people werenít simple shepherds, but wise men (they are called such in the Bible) - well educated: Astronomers, Doctors, Scientists. They werenít ignorant. They were well read and cultured. They had been around and seen a lot of things in this life.
B. This group of men knew what they were looking for. They were not your normal group of men that havenít a clue what life is all about. These men had come to a point in their life where something, or rather Someone was more real and important than family, religion, education, politics, culture and life itself! - and it was not a simple child in a cot they were looking for (they had plenty of those back in Babylon), but a virgin born child, who was prophesied in the Bible to be King at His birth. You see, they knew the Bible, and they believed it
1. What were they looking for? A Star. Num 24:17-19, They knew that a Star would rise out of Jacob, who would be King so they looked for a star that would lead to the King. Where? In Israel.
2. When? The Jewish prophet Daniel, while in Babylon had written exactly the date to be watching for the Star in Dan 7,8 and 9, which told of Him coming and being born exactly in the year that the star appeared.
3. How would He come? By a virgin! Isa 7:14; Matt 1:22,23, They knew the baby would be a miracle baby
C. Donít you see that you hold in your hands a very supernatural Book?. One that has made specific predictions hundreds and even thousands of years ahead of time - and yet always coming true to the letter! No other book or person comes anywhere close to the accuracy of the Bible. This is not just something written just a couple of hundred years ago reviewing events in history, but a Book that lists hundreds and hundreds of prophecies and then their fulfillment - all to show man that there is a God somewhere who really wants people to know Him! And that the way to know Him would only be through this Book!
D. Today, in this world of scientific discovery and ever expanding knowledge, wise men still seek Him in a way that is far different than how this world claims to seek Him:
1. They seek Christ in order to Ďuseí Him - for profit and gain. They only look forward to Christmas because that is where up to %50 of their sales come in!. It also is a good reason to decorate and liven-up the homes and cities, which otherwise are very dull and dreary.
2. They seek Christ in order to blame Him - for everything that is wrong in life. people constantly state that ďif he really were God, then all these terrible things would never happen!Ē
3. They seek Christ really just to get rid of Him - people donít want His influence in their lives. They would rather have the government telling them what is right and wrong, or the church, or their friends, but certainly NOT Jesus Christ. That is why there is now so much emphasis on Santa, and not only Jesus. The ONLY reason for Christmas is Jesus Christ coming to earth to die in our place on the cross, and yet what has everyone done, exchanged the Saviour for a clown named Santa.
I hope that this is not true with you!
Message - Truly, Wise Men Still Seek Him (Matt 2:1-12)
A. They Seek To Know Him - Personally. Not just know about Him (Jer 9:23,24)
1. To know Him as real and living, and true (2:1, ďWhere is he...Ē).
a. He is not some statue in a museum, or some idol in a basilica, but alive! God has really come (Matt 1:21-23) and is living right among us AS one of us - only, without sin!
b. These wise men had gods, and deities, and religions (Buddhism had been around for 600 years at that point, Hinduism for several thousand).
c. But the true God was really here on earth, available for any and all to see, and handle, and know! They wanted this!
2. To know Him as the true King. To make Him their King. They had an emperor. but this King was unlike all other kings - this King had not come to be served, but to serve.
3. To know Him as the only Saviour - the Lamb of God. That was why Jesus had to be born in a manger - because that is where little lambs are born! You see, you can never know God as Father, until you have been born into His family by trusting the Saviour to give you eternal life with Him in heaven by faith!
Once people have found this King, and come to know Him as He really is:
B. They Seek To Worship Him (Matt 2:2,11)
1. Not Mary, or some mere man or woman, but Christ the Lord - the ONLY One who loved us enough to willingly come to earth and take on the form of a human and suffer in our place for our sins so that we could be completely forgiven!
2. Not Science - so many worship science and education and universities and
3. Not religion - these men had come from Babylon, which was a center of great religious temples, and religious writings and religious leaders - and they had come to Him
4. But Him:
a. No one really can love someone that they do not know. God wanted more than anything for you to KNOW Him, and He proved it by becoming just like us, and talking just like us!
b. Worship here is not just genuflections and reciting some words that you learned in some prayer-book, but heartfelt love and adoration for the God who loved you and gave Himself for you so that you could be forgiven of all your sins!
Once people have found this King, and come to know Him as He really is, and have begun to worship Him:
C. They Seek to Follow Him - Live for Him - finally have purpose in life
1. Once you meet this Jesus, you never are the same again.
a. He gives a new life - eternal life. All the sins that condemned you are forgiven because of the coming of this Saviour (1 Tim 1:15; Rom 6:23)
b. He gives a new direction - purpose. Life no longer is lived in order to get to heaven, but rather, it is lived because Iím now going to heaven! No longer lived for myself, or my own pleasures, but for my Saviourís joy! You never want to go back to the old life again. Jesus is your King now, and you serve Him!
2. Once you meet this Jesus, this world becomes different to you:
a. It becomes untrustworthy. At first the wise men came to the government, and trusted that they would have answers. Now, they leave the government in the dust, and trust only God (2:12)
b. It canít compare to heaven. You see, just as those wise men sought a glimpse of this King of kings, I too seek to see Him face to face one day in heaven. And I know that I am going! ďNot by works of righteousness which we have done,Ē Paul said,Ē but according to His mercy He saved usĒ (Titus 3:5)
A. How Did These Wise Men Seek Christ?
1. According to the Scriptures. They could not just rest in their own religion, and church, but had to look to the Bible for the answers to eternity and sin and Godís forgiveness. They came Godís way
2. At all Costs
a. These wise men had to humble themselves and leave their homes, and families and cultures in order to come to Israel, and submit to a Jewish King - and they were not Jews!
b. They came not because crowds of people were gathering for this great event, but because they knew what was right, and whether or not anyone else believed like them, they were going no matter what! Remember:
1) The Roman government didnít believe like them
2) The Jewish religious leaders didnít even believe them - even though they had a Bible (and many a person has a Bible, and yet wont believe it)!
B. Why Did they Seek Him?
1. To Know Him - Personally. Not just know about Him
a. As God in flesh.
b. As the true King. Their King.
c. As the only Saviour - the Lamb of God.
2. To Worship Him (Matt 2:2,11) - Not Mary, the Saints, or angels, But Jesus! Not science, or religion, but Jesus! And Him alone!
3. To Follow Him - Live for Him - finally have purpose in life
Will you not join ranks with these wise men, and seek HIM today?!