This week, Pastor Chris preached a powerful Christmas message about the magi in the Christmas story. The wise men were astrologers who traveled over thousands of miles to worship the Christ child. The star they followed is believed by some to be the shekinah glory of God leading worshippers to Immanuel. We can each learn from the example of the magi who pursued Christ and immediately fell down and worshiped Him at first sight.
Matthew 2:1–11 (ESV)
1 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.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: 6 “ ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’ ” 7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 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.
• Gold: A gift for a king (ROYALTY).
• Frankincense: This is obviously an incense, the burning of which represents prayer (DEITY).
• Myrrh: A fragrant perfume, used in embalming bodies (HUMANITY).
3 Characteristics of the Wise Men’s Worship:
- Their Worship Was Intentional
- Their Worship Was an Act of Their Wills
- Their Worship Was Personal
- they came, v. 2;
- they came from a great distance, v. 2;
- they came by faith, v. 2;
- they rejoiced when they found Him, v. 10;
- they humbled themselves before Him, v. 11;
- they willingly lavished their gifts upon Him, v. 11.
Matthew 2:10-11 (AMP)
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And after entering the house, they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, after opening their treasure chests, they presented to Him gifts [fit for a king, gifts] of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
“The very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world is that He might offer up His life as a sacrifice for the sins of men. He came to die. This is the heart of Christmas!”
1 Corinthians 11:26 (ESV)
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death…
1 Corinthians 11:25 (ESV)
25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
1 Corinthians 11:26 (ESV)
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
“No past but the cross; no future but the coming.”
Sir Robert Anderson
Revelation 22:20 (ESV)
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
- Who was King Herod?
- Who were the wise men? How did they respond when they encountered Jesus in the manger?
- What was the symbolism of the three gifts given to Jesus?
- Read Matthew 2:1-11 this week, meditating on the Christmas story and the worship of the magi.
- Which of the characteristics of the wise men’s worship do you need an upgrade in? Determine before the Lord this week.