Which Bible Message is For You?
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, 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 govern my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star 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 When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till 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. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
I. New Year – lots going on
So many bowl games to watch and bills to pay
Feeling disoriented like kid where Mom gave him new shoes for Christmas. Put on – excited.
She said, Billy, you have those on wrong feet.
C’mon Mom, don’t try and trick me. I know these are my feet.
Now I know it is New Year’s – can be hard to stay focused.
Got your resolution to keep up with
Tired – holidays are over. Long winter lies ahead.
So I am cutting you some slack
One of all-time great Bible stories. Only a short attention span is needed. Even subdivided by alphabet – only have to pay attention to your part.
A-F: Notice how God is in control of this whole story.
God Placed the child in Mary,
He Comes to Joseph in a dream,
God sets the star in the sky, wise men merely follow His lead
The Lord protects Jesus after born from Herod.
Clearly Christmas is God’s story – God is at work.
This story is all about Him
Wasn’t that easy?
G-P: Notice who all is involved here, Mary and Joseph. – upstanding Jewish man and woman
Follows that long lineage list of Jesus in Chapter one – odd names added of women, Tamar, Ruth, Rahab – all outsiders, all non-Jews.
Then you have the Wise men – mysterious fellows who come from the East.
Point – no one is left out.
God’s story not just for His chosen people, the Jews – it is for everybody.
For you and me
Q-Z: Notice the odd notion here, King Herod is King.
But Wise men from east come and say, “we heard the king has been born. We’ve come to meet the King.”
They are Asking the King – where is the King?
Everyone knows you cannot have 2 kings.
Sets up the story of Jesus’ life – earthly kings seeking to destroy God’s king.
Fast forward to end of the Church year – Christ the King - Mt.25 – great day of judgment –
Jesus the King will separate the sheep from the goats
King shall say in end there is only one king.
II. Now no matter your last name, time to get back on board – just a moment.
Want you to notice something. Notice how people respond to Jesus
v.3 – Jesus is born – Herod was troubled and all Jerusalem with him.
Jesus comes and it causes a stir.
Some take it farther – Herod then sets in motion a conspiracy to kill Jesus.
Later joined by the religious leaders – we have got to get rid of this fellow, the so-called king. Some are disturbed – others are downright hostile.
Good News has its enemies, not always popular to be associated with Jesus.
To love the poor,
to be an advocate for children in a grown-up’s world,
to remember the neglected.
May make some enemies.
But notice the wise men – have been seeking him.
What do they do when they find him? Bow down and worship – tells us three times – 2, 8,11,
Just like the Leper 9.2, Jairus 9.18, Canaanite woman 15.25 and 12 in boat 14.33.
They not only worship – they empty their treasures, offering him gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Perhaps they had heard that where treasure is, there is heart also 6.19-20.
Perhaps they knew Kingdom of God like a treasure in field – willing to give everything else up for it – 13:44-52.
Perhaps they had met – rich young ruler – have a treasure in heaven – went away sad for he was attached to his many treasures – 19.21.
Only one king – and only one treasure – his name is Jesus.
Clearly they understood – this is God’s story.
God made the first move – Jesus has come – he is here.
How you respond is entirely up to you.
How you respond can be a Holy Moment or an unholy moment. Either way, it’s entirely up to you.
Can be Troubled and disturbed – even try to destroy Him
Can ignore Him – millions do so every single day
Or you can worship and adore – because you know that, in the end, it is all about Him
After all, He is the King