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Matthew 2:1-12

Worth It All

  • Samuel Wilson
  • Weekend Messages
  • December 23, 2018

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

Worth it All

Matthew 2:1-12

Intro: A worthwhile journey!

After Jesus is born in Bethlehem, some Magi, or wise men from the East, see a star in the sky. This particular star they understood to be a sign that would direct them to the newly born King of the Jews, the Messiah, Jesus. Convinced in their understanding, they left the comfort of their home country and began the great journey to Jesus.

Read: Matthew 2:1-12

The journey these wise men embarked upon was a long trip for them, over many days and many miles. They were unsure of their final destination, but were sure that they were going in the right direction, and sure of who they were headed to see. They were headed to see Jesus, and confident that their journey, though long, would be worth it all.

The men were from afar, in a distant land, yet, an understanding of Jesus’ birth prompted them to go to Him. This morning many of us are in different places as it relates to Jesus. Certainly, we know that we are in the time of year whereby we celebrate His birth, yet, when a question comes as to your proximity to Jesus in light that He has come, you may feel far off. This morning I have good news for you!

I.  Make Your Way to Him Today

  • The wise men are most famous today for their part in nativity scenes during the Christmas season.

Illus. Understanding the wise men.

  • The star they saw, was a fulfillment of Scripture.

Numbers 24:17, “A star shall come forth from Jacob, a scepter will rise from Israel.”

  • This was widely regarded as a Messianic prediction and understood by the wise men.
  • The King they were seeking, it was Jesus. Their response was not simply to understand or discern the reality, but rather, they had to do something about it.
  • They understood what the star in the sky meant and they made their way to Jesus, following the star, beginning their journey as soon as they understood that it represented that Jesus, the King of the Jews, had been born.

Illus. Why wait until next month?

  • These men, went on a journey likely taking well over a year, because they knew the importance of the Messiah.
  • It wasn’t enough for the wise men to simply know what had happened. Rather, once they understood that the One true King was born, they pulled together the finest gifts they could gather, and began their journey toward Jesus.
  • The Magi, were astrologers, studying the stars to predict the future, or determine circumstances. They were also dream interpreters.
  • In the midst of their study into dreams and astrology, despite the ancient near-eastern beliefs systems, where mysticism or the pagan gods may direct their attention…God’s light was undeniable.
  • The Lord appears to people right where they are at. To these men who studied stars, a star was revealed, an unmistakable star, a star representing Jesus. And God would use this star to draw them to the Son.
  • They responded without delay.

     A.  Know and Go

  • As the wise men follow the star, they got closer each day to where Jesus was. Arriving in Jerusalem, they had an assumption that the birth of the Messiah was well known, asking, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?”
  • Their inquiry caused quite a stir. Herod, the king of Judea, along with all Jerusalem was troubled. A large company of wise men asking about the Messiah.
  • The Chief Priests and Scribes (experts in the Old Testament) were called by the current king and were able to provide information that based on Scripture, the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem.

Matthew 2:6, 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.

  • The Scribes knew exactly where the Messiah was to be born. They had devoted their lives to studying Scripture, yet, they were unmoved at hearing these words.
  • The wise men spend many months, traveling across the desert, spending much money and expending great energy to seek the Lord.
  • Jerusalem is about 6 miles away from Jerusalem and the Chief Priests and Scribes at hearing this are not at all interested in going.
  • The Scribes were those in the “know,” but they didn’t “go.”
  • Knowing simply isn’t enough. The Scribes knew the scriptures well…The prophecies, locations and promises they were well aware of. They knew the scripture so well, that they directed the Magi to Jesus’ location.
  • Yet, they were not willing make the 6 miles walk. The wise men had one sign, the star in the sky and they traveled across the desert.
  • 6 miles away, and they made the decision to stay home. Why? I am not sure, but it highlights the truth that knowing is not enough.
  • There is a caution here for those who know the Word. We can easily become like the Scribes.
  • Knowing where I should be is not same as being there. Knowing where I should go, not the same as going. Knowing what I should do, not the same as doing.

James 1:22, But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only.

Illus. Knowing isn’t enough.

  • We can get so close yet remain far from getting to Jesus.

Psalm 62:5, My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him.

Illus. In Luke 8:43-48, A woman who sought and found Jesus.

Jeremiah 29:13, You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

      B.  Follow the way of the wise men

  • After finding out where Jesus could be found, Herod called in the Magi to determine the exact time the star had appeared.
  • What we understand is that they told him somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 years or less (Matthew 2:16).

Matthew 2:8-10, 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.” 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. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.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.

  • Vs. 11, They fell to the ground and worshipped.
  • It must have been an impressive sight to see these Magi, these wise men, bowing before a young child.

Illus. Well, say hello!

  • They were not concerned with how it looked. They knew whom they had found.
  • Here they were, in His midst, they were interested in worshipping Him now, not later.

Illus. In Matthew 26:6-10, a woman comes before Jesus with an alabaster vial of costly perfume. Pouring it out on the head of Jesus. The disciples, Judas specifically, calls it waste. Jesus said she had done a good thing for Him.

  • The Magi came worshipping with costly gifts.
  • They hadn’t come to get something from Jesus. They weren’t coming because of what He had done; at that point He had done nothing.

Illus. Preparing for a child.

  • We should worship the Lord because He is King of kings, creator of all, the reason for life, the destiny of our lives, the One who upon coming to Him, welcomes all in as sons and daughters.

John 1:12, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

  • The wise men left Jerusalem and went to the little town of Bethlehem, which was a typical Middle Eastern city.
  • It was never a great or influential city. It was little among the thousands in Israel, yet God chose it to be the town Jesus would be born in.
  • Jesus came to a real world, as a real man to help real people. Bethlehem in many ways, shows us a picture of our reality.
  • Bethlehem was an unimpressive city, but because it is where He was born, there have been more songs sung, poetry written, photographs taken, and trips made to the little insignificant town of Bethlehem than any other.
  • Bethlehem is one of the most famous places in the world today because Jesus was born there.
  • Jesus comes into people like us and He makes us great, not because of who we are, but because of Whose we are. We are His.

1 Corinthians 1:27-28, God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are.

  • Have you tried to make your own way, but come up short? Are you feeling foolish? Weak? Lowly? Despised?
  • Guess what, you are a prime candidate for God to use you!
  • It not about who we are, but who He is.

Revelation 4:11, Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.

  • These wise men brought Gold: which was given to Kings. Frankincense: Which was an expensive element of the High Priests incense and anointing oil. And Myrrh; Which was used in embalming at death. Myrrh was used to anoint Jesus body after death.
  • Gold for a mighty king, frankincense for a ministering priest, myrrh for a martyred prophet.
  • These Magi gave great gifts, the best they could bring, and were overjoyed to worship Him with the best gifts they could bring.

But everything that was given paled in comparison to the gift that God gave. He gave His best to the world, to you and to me, in giving His Son because He knew it would be worth it all!

Matthew 2:1-12

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "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." When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: 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.'"
Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 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." 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. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 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. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.

 

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