This week, Pastor Chris continued in our Christmas series with a word on the wisemen in the Christmas story. The magi were likely a large group of people who studied astronomy, yet they recognized the greater power of God. They were seekers of the Savior and they traveled far to worship him. Pastor Chris shared the reality that each one of us worships something. We can all learn something from the intentional, personal, sacrificial worship of the wisemen.
Jeremiah 29:13–14 (ESV)
13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
Matthew 2:1–2 (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.”
- Worship: “To kiss toward”. Affection.
Eight Characteristics of the Wise Men’s Worship:
- Their Worship Was Intentional
- Intentional, not accidental.
- Their Worship Was an Act of Their Wills.
- They denied distractions that vied for their attention.
- They denied comfort and ease.
- They denied excuses not to worship.
Luke 14:18–20 (ESV)
18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’
Luke 14:24 (ESV)
24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’ ”
- 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 2:3 (ESV)
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;
- Their Worship Was Confrontational
- The birth of Jesus was and is confrontational in nature.
John 14:6 (ESV)
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 1:29 (ESV)
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
- Their Worship Was Effectual
- Jesus has an effect on everyone.
- When we worship Jesus in truth and Spirit, it affects the room.
Matthew 2:4-8 (ESV)
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.”
- Their Worship Was Relational
Matthew 2:9 (ESV)
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.
- Their Worship Was Sacrificial
- Will you offer Extravagant Worship or Safe Worship?
Luke 7:37–39 (ESV)
37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”
John 19:39 (ESV)
39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight.
- Their Worship Was Emotional
Matthew 2:10–11 (ESV)
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)
Mark 11:22 (The Message)
22 Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it,
- Pastor Chris said, “everybody worships something.” Do you agree? Is this true for somebody who considers themselves an agnostic or atheist?
- What would it look like to make worship of Jesus a lifestyle?
- How would you describe safe worship? What about extravagant worship?
- Which of the characteristics of the wisemen’s worship could you use an upgrade in (intentional, willing, personal, confrontational, effectual, relational, sacrificial, emotional)?
- Have you ever neglected personal worship? Have you ever come into church looking for your fire to be lit rather than to worship in the fire you’ve stoked throughout the week? Choose to worship the Lord personally and intentionally this week.
- Is there anything distracting you from recognizing Jesus as the true reason for the Christmas season? Lay it down at His feet this week. Come to church next Sunday expectant to encounter Him in a fresh way.