Christmas is not about the trees, it’s not about the lights either; no matter how much you can relate to Clark Griswold. Personally, I don’t have any desire to do a bunch of decorations, but I know that a lot of people do. That is not what Christmas is about though. It’s not about all the presents and family get-togethers either. Christmas is a time that all of these things occur, but Christmas, for a Christian, is all about the fact that God became flesh, and in fulfillment of prophecy was born of a virgin in Bethlehem to live a perfect life that he could sacrifice that life so that we could have eternal life.
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; - 1 Timothy 1:15
Christmas is about worship. Every Christmas you see manger scenes all over town. They have Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus in a manger along with the animals, angels, shepherds and the wise men. It’s those wise men (Who were never at the manger) that I want to discuss today:
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. - Matthew 2:1-12
Today we will look at four things that we can learn from the wise men in relationship to their worship of the Lord Jesus.
1. Desire of their worship
In verse 2 we see that the wise men came to worship the Lord. They came to worship the King of Glory, the Divine King not just any earthly king. Notice that when they asked for the King of the Jews that the letter “K” is capitalized, this indicates divinity, if you compare with the small “k” when referencing king Herod you will notice the difference.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah. – Psalms 24:7-10
They were determined to worship Him, their worship was reserved for only Jesus. They were very specific as to who they were looking for.
They were also diligent in their worship. They had searched for Jesus for over a year. They set out on their search when they saw his star on the night of his birth:
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. – Matthew 2:11
They came into the house to see Jesus, not the manger. That fact compared with the fact that Herod killed all children from two years and younger gives you the timeline:
Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. – Matthew 2:16
Their worship was directed towards Jesus, not Mary or Joseph or anyone else. The came to worship Him, Not for what he had done, not for what he would do, but simply because of who He is:
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. – Phiippians 2:5-11
2. Deterance to their worship
When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. – Matthew 2:3
Herod represents those that are troubled or disturbed by worship
- Bothered by public prayer
- Bothered by the Bible
- Bothered by Street Preaching
- Bothered by Gospel Tracts
- Bothered by shouting in church
- They will say that your emotions should be let out of the church. That is upside down! The word “cried” is found in 66 different verses in the New Testament, and every reference is speaking about shouting!
Herod represents those that divert worship to themselves. The Lord will share his Mercy, Love, and Grace all freely, but he will not share his Glory.
Herod represents those that are deceptive in their worship:
And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. – Matthew 2:8
Herod had ulterior motives, he did not have any plans whatsoever to go and worship Jesus. Many people will claim that they want to worship the Lord, when in fact they are after something else.
Herod represents those that want to destroy worship
And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my Son. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. – Matthew 2:13-18
Don’t be the one that destroys worship. Don’t quench or grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Make sure that your attitude and actions promote worship and not that they deter worship.
3. The display of their worship
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. – Matthew 2:10-11
The wise men were excited to worship the Lord. They weren’t depressed, or worn out, or miserable, but rather they couldn’t wait for the opportunity to worship the Lord. They immediately began to worship when they entered the house. The wise men didn’t need to be warmed up to the idea, they had come ready to worship. They expressed their worship by presenting the Lord with gifts.
- Gold, which represented the fact that Jesus is the Sovereign King
- Frankincense representing that Jesus is our High Priest
- Myrrh which represented the fact that Jesus was to be our Suffering Savior.
These gifts were demonstrating to everyone present that Jesus is our
When visiting a King it was customary to bring gifts:
What gifts have you brought for the King today?
4. The difference caused by worship
And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. – Matthew 2:12
Worship should change you, you shouldn’t leave a worship service the same way that you entered. The wise men were warned of God not to depart the way that they came.
Their worship caused them to be more perceptive to Gods word. They changed their plans after spending time in worship. Real worship will cause you to throw out your plans for his plans.
The ultimate act of worship is to respond to the Lord, won’t you respond to him today?
Our hope at Irvington Bible Baptist Church is that this podcast provided some encouragement and has helped you to develop a closer relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ.