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Dec 17, 2016
Looking for the King

"From the Promise to the Incarnation"

"Looking For The King"

Matthew 2:1-11

Sunday December 18, 2016

Many questions about this part of the Christmas Story: Who were the Wise Men? Where there just three (3)? What is the place of their origin? Why did they go to Jerusalem?  What about the Star?

  • · As to their identity there is much speculation.  And some interesting ideas but for sure I don't know their identity as to their names.
  • · How many wise men? I don't think you should limit their number to three (3) because of three types of gifts.  2:3 says, "When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him." Most likely there was an entourage of Wise Men looking for He who was born King of the Jews and that was of great concern to Herod the King.  Isaiah 60:6  

Gold a gift for a king. "Seneca, the Roman philosopher, tells us that in Parthia (An empire in Northeast Iran in 247BC to 224 AD) it was the custom that no one could ever approach the king without a gift. And gold, the king of metals, is the gift fit for a king."

You Must Meet Him as a Sinner

Jesus was born King of the Jews. But he was to reign not by force but by love; and he was to rule over human hearts, not from a throne, but as The One to die  on a cross.  That is why the leaders of the nation missed Him.  They did not understand they had to meet Him as a sinner.  That is why people miss Him to day.  They want a king to rule their life by force to give them their wants and desires.  But they don't see their need of Him as their Saviour.  Paul covered it in Romans 10:1-4.

You meet him on terms of surrender.  The keeper of the prision said, "What must I do to be saved." "Nelson, the great British admiral, always treated his vanquished opponents with the greatest kindness and courtesy. After one of his naval victories, the defeated admiral was brought aboard Nelson’s flagship and on to Nelson’s quarterdeck. Knowing Nelson’s reputation for courtesy, and thinking to trade upon it, he advanced across the quarterdeck with hand outstretched as if he was advancing to shake hands with an equal. Nelson’s hand remained by his side. ‘Your sword first,’ he said, ‘and then your hand.’" Before we can know Him as our friend , we must know Him as our Saviour . Php. 2:5-11  "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

  • · Frankincense is the gift for a priest
  • · Myrrh is the gift for one who is to die.

"Gold for a king, frankincense for a priest, myrrh for one who was to die—these were the gifts of the wise men, and, even at the cradle of Christ, they foretold that he was to be the true king, the perfect high priest, and in the end the Surpreme Saviour of the world." 1

Barclay, W. (2001). The Gospel of Matthew (Third Ed., p. 38 . Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press.

  • · 3.  Wise men from the east" "The phrase "wise men," in Matthew 2:1

How did they know of the gospel story and promise of Christ?

"And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country,..." 1 Kings 4:30.

1.  This story of the Birth of Christ was not done in a corner but was known  to the world, ".....for God hath shown unto them....... Romans 1:19-20

2.  Abraham sent all his sons of the concubines into the east country away from Isaac. Genesis 25:6.

3.  The story of Esther takes place in the land of Persia and Media.  "Shushan, also known as Susa (i.e. various Bible translations render the city name as either Shushan or Susa) was a capital of Elam, in what is today western Iran, about 150 miles north of the Persian Gulf. The city of Shushan / Susa, or more specifically, the royal palace there, is known to Bible History (see also Bible Places) as the location where Nehemiah, Esther and Daniel were all situated."

4.  King Herod is a descendant of Haman who tried to have Mordecai killed and to have all Jew killed, Esther 2:8-9. Many people in land of King Ahasuerus became Jews who were not of their ethnicity but by their religion 8: 13-17, i.e. 17 " And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them."

5.  The Wise Men knew the prophecy, Matthew 2:5, Numbers 24:17. ".... there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, ...."

6.  King Herod knew the Messiah was to come, Matthew 2:4. "And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born."

Why did they see His Star and come to worship Him?

The Answer is simple:  they were looking for Him!  There is a difference in knowing a truth and believing on the person.

The woman in John 4 said, "I know that Messiah cometh which is called Christ...." Jesus said, I that speak unto thee am he." Christ came in fulfillment of God Promise before the World began, Titus 1:2  "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"

  • · Why did they go to Jerusalem: There is the throne of David the King.  There is the throne from which Christ shall rule.  Jerusalem was built on several hills Mount Zion on the south, Mount Moriah on the east.  On the east was the valley or the brook Kedron, dividing the city from the Mount of Olives.  At the foot of the Mount of Olives,  a garden called called Gethsemane.
  • · Christ was crucified outside the City of Jerusalem.  In the same area where Abraham offered Issac,
  • · The disciples waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Jerusalem, Acts 1:4

The wise men came to worship the Christ Child, to see the Incarnation of God. Jesus is God with us who was to die as our Redeemer and will one day come again Acts 1:9-12.

May I ask you these two questions:  Have you worshipped Him as your Saviour.  He who was born as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the World?  Are you looking for Him to come again to full fill His Promise I will come again to receive you John 14:1-3

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