Christmas Sermon Matthew 2:1-12 (NIV) 3 Wise Men Visit To See Baby Jesus Christ


 

25 December 2021 Christmas Sermon

Matthew 2:1-12 (NIV) 3 Wise Men Visit To See Baby Jesus Christ

Hi there, my name is Janice from Christ Unite. Today is a special day to remember. Is Christmas Day. We remember the birth of Jesus Christ today. Blessed Christmas to everyone of you. Today sermon is from the Bible on the book of Matthew chapter 2 verse 1 to 12. Please turn your bible to Matthew chapter 2 verse 1 to 12. I will be reading from the NIV 1984 version. Matthew chapter 2 verse 1.

1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem

2and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."

3When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.

4When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.

5"In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:

6" 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.' "

7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.

8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."

9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.

10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Let’s pray. Dearest Heavenly Father, thank you Lord for your word. Help us to understand your word about your son Jesus Christ birth and the meaning of His birth. Enable me your child to explain well and may hearts be touch by you today. In your son name Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

What do you know about Christmas? You probably know is about the birth of Jesus Christ. What else do you know? In last year Christmas sermon, I talked about the shepherds going to Bethlehem to find baby Jesus Christ after hearing from an angel of the Lord that a savior Christ the Lord has being born in Bethlehem in a manger. Today I am going to tell you beside the shepherds, 3 Magi also known as wise men went to find baby Jesus Christ too. What are Magi? Magi is the singular Latin word of Magus. Magus are known as astrologers who are wise able to interpret the stars signs. Hence they are also known as wise men. Another interpretation of magi is magician. The word magician comes from the word magi. In the book of Daniel chapter 2 verse 2, magi first appear in the Bible when King Nebuchadnezzar called the magicians to interpret his dreams. However we also learned in the Bible, the Jews do not like magician as what they practice are not right to God. In Deuteronomy chapter 18 verse 10, we were told not to believe in divination or sorcery. So why did God choose the 3 Magi to find Jesus Christ? Magi probably worship other false god and practice magic and astronomy which is against God commandments. I will explain about this in the later part of the sermon.

Right. Now let’s look at where the 3 Magi come from. We learned that they come from the east and went to Jerusalem then to Bethlehem in Judea. Where in the east were they from? Let’s look at the map. East of Jerusalem Bethlehem could be Perea, Babylon, Persia, India or other countries in the east side. Some people said that is likely to be Persia as there were astrologers in Persia who practiced the ancient custom of divining knowledge from the stars and planets. The Bible did not specify where exactly in east of Bethlehem.

palestine under herod the great map

map 2

How do they know where to go? They were actually directed by the star. However they were not completely sure where is the place where baby Jesus Christ was born. They went to Jerusalem and asked where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? They mentioned they saw his star in the east and had come to worship him. Notice they said they saw a star and is Christ the King Star. They believed and followed the star when they realized that what this star represent the announcement of the birth of king of the Jews. They were probably surprised that the Jews were not celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, it seems that they didn’t know about Jesus birth or they knew but they didn’t celebrate.

Soon King Herod came to know about the Magi asking about where is the king of the Jews. In verse 3, it mentioned King Herod was disturbed when he heard about there is a new baby identify as king of the Jews and all of Jerusalem people were also troubled. Why were they troubled especially the Jews in Jerusalem? Shouldn’t they be overjoy that Messiah the king of the Jews is born? King Herod was probably upset that there is now another king who is king of the Jews. He was afraid of losing his kingship for the Jews. He had killed his own family members his wife, his 3 sons in the past because he wanted to keep his throne as king of the Jews, he didn’t want others to be king not even his own son.  The Jews were also troubled because they were afraid what might happen to them as they knew king Herod don’t want anyone to take his throne as king of the Jews. Also the priests might be worried about their authority.

King Herod worries caused him to summon all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law to find out where was Christ to be born. They replied based on their knowledge of the scripture Micah chapter 5 verse 2 what the prophet had written in the past that Christ was to be born in Bethlehem in Judea and that he will be the shepherd of the people Israel. Verse 6 is the quote from Micah chapter 5 verse 2.

The chief priests and teachers of the law even though they knew the scripture, didn’t immediately go to Bethlehem to find Christ. They have no joy no happiness over the news of Christ birth. They were not like the shepherds who went to find Christ when they heard about his birth. They probably didn’t even ask the shepherds what they found and saw or they might have heard it from the shepherds but they didn’t go find Christ. In Luke 2 verse 17 says  the shepherds after seeing him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child. The people in Jerusalem probably heard from the shepherds too but they didn’t go and find Christ. No celebration. No joy. Instead they were troubled.

Herod upon hearing from the chief priests and teachers of the law then called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. Why did Herod ask the exact time the star had appeared? Notice the word secretly. He didn’t want people to know he called the Magi. He wanted to know how long has baby Christ being born and where his whereabout. He told the Magi to find Christ in Bethlehem and come back and report to him where is Christ exactly saying he will go and worship him. In actual fact, he had plans to get rid of Christ.  

The magi then went on their way to Bethlehem. As they make their way they saw the star they had seen in the east who had went ahead of them directing them to Bethlehem and stopping where the child was. The magi probably stop seeing the star before reaching Jerusalem or at Jerusalem. Why did they end up at Jerusalem? I think God has planned this. Is for the Magi to be at Jerusalem and to meet King Herod and to see the people in Jerusalem. Is for the Magi to tell them about the birth of Christ and wanting to see their reactions. Notice also when the Magi saw the star again they were overjoyed. Seeing Christ star makes them overjoy. How about the people in Jerusalem were they overjoyed when they saw Christ star? The star should be very bright since Magi can see in Jerusalem, the people in Jerusalem should also notice it.  

I find it unique that the star can move and direct the Magi where to go. Only God who is creator of the universe can make the star when to appear, where to move, when to move, when to disappear, when to reappear.

Now let’s look at verse 11, On coming to the house, the Magi saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. The Magi upon seeing Christ bowed down and worship him. Who is so great that deserve to be bow down and worship especially a child? Only Christ the king who is son of God that comes down to earth deserves to be bow down and worship. The Magi offered to Christ gifts of gold, frankincense incense and myrrh. Why did they offer these gifts to a child? Don’t you find it strange? There is actually meaning to these gifts. Gold represents kingship royalty. Christ is king of the Jews and our king. He is Lord of Lords. Frankincense incense represents priesthood incense offering to God. Priests are authorize to offer incense to God. So this represent Christ was born to be our appointed high priest and He is an offering to God. Myrrh are fragrance used in perfume, they are made as anointing oil as mention by God to Moses in Exodus chapter 30 verse 22. Myrrh is also used for the burial of the dead for embalming to preserve the body to prevent from decomposition, moisture and generation of worms. Myrrh represents Christ will die and be cover in myrrh. He will be the salvation sacrifice for people.

gold frankincense and myrrh meaning

Having explained the meaning of the 3 gifts and why Magi bowed down and worshipped Christ, now let’s look at why did God choose Magi to find Christ, telling others that Christ was born and anoint him with gifts even though God forbid people to believe in sorcery, divinity? I will start off by referring to my previous Christmas sermon last year about the shepherds which I mentioned society back then treated the shepherds as lowly uneducated, dirty unclean people. Now let’s look at the Magi who are known as wise men. Notice the contrast, uneducated vs the educated wise men. Also the contrast in wealth, cleanliness. The poor unclean people vs the rich wealthy people who are clean physically. The shepherds worship God vs the 3 Magi who might be worshiping other false God as they were astrologers who used stars signs for divination before turning to God.

From this bible passage, God to me is showing that He is reaching out to all people regardless of wisdom, education, wealth, cleanliness, sins. He wants to reach out to those who worship false god, sinners for them to turn to Him and stop worshipping false god. He is also using shepherds to tell others of His arrival and hope. He is also reaching out to Jews, Christian to spread His word. He wants us to follow him, follow His guidance, His leading. He wants us to be patient waiting for Him. He brings people near and far to Him. All people will come and worship Him. He is the Light of the World that shines brightly in darkness. He is King of Kings, Lord of Lords, our everlasting High Priest. He is son of God who came to save us.

I want to share with you also another finding I discovered in verse 11,notice the word house and child. Is not the word manger and baby as what is written in Luke 2. This is different. This is because the Magi by the time they found Christ, he probably was around 1 to 2 years old. It took some time in the past for them to travel from the east to Bethlehem. Probably a few months to a year or a year plus depending on where in the east were they from. Also the Magi upon seeing the star need some time to interpret what does this unique star mean and the 3 wise men probably meet up and discuss their findings and what they believe it mean. The 3 wise men may or may not be living near one another, if they didn’t they will need time to travel to meet up together. Also in verse 16, Herod ordered all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under to be killed, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. So by the time the Magi found Christ, he was already a child as what is stated in verse 11 and not a baby.

Christ was a protected child from God the Father from the beginning, God had warned the Magi in a dream not to go back to Herod and they returned to their country by another route after seeing Christ. God knew what will happen in future and He protected Christ from being killed by Herod.

Let’s summarize what we have just learned in this passage. Christ was an anointed special child born in earth. From his birth, people came from near and far to worship Him. He is son of God, king of kings, lord of lords, he is our everlasting high priest a living sacrifice for our sins. He came for the lost sinners so that people may know Him.

How should we apply this knowledge in our lives? As Christian, we need to reach out to others and proclaim Jesus birth and death. Our hearts must not be hardened like the Jews who get worried about their own welfare instead of joyful about the good news of Christ. If you face trouble, do not worry. Turn to God, look for Him. When you hear about God, do not turn away if life is not within your expectation.

If you are not Christian or a Christian who left God, after hearing this sermon will you be willing to accept Jesus Christ into your life? Will you accept Him to be your king, lord, your one and only God? If you are willing, will you say this prayer with me. Please close your eyes and follow after me to say this prayer “Dear Jesus Christ, I admit I am a sinner and I ask for Your forgiveness. I am really sorry for not believing in you in the past. I have done, said and thought many wrong things that are basically going against You and Your Will.  I turn from my sins in repentance. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. Thank You for dying at the Cross for my sins. I open my heart and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my God, Lord and Savior. In Your Name I pray. Amen.”   

If you have prayed this prayer for the 1st time and accept Jesus Christ into your life, congratulations to your new born life. I like to encourage you to get a Bible and read it. You can get the NIV New International Version or ESV English Standard Version. Start from the book of John. Do visit a church near you and tell your Christian friends about your new born faith. They will love to hear the good news and guide you in your journey. Do contact me if you like to share the good news too.

If you are a Christian who has just repented and recited the prayer. God welcomes you back to Him. He has forgiven you. Do come back to church if you have left church and reconnect with your Christian brothers & sisters in Christ. Continue to pray to God regularly. Do your daily devotional reading. Have faith and trust in His plans for you and remember His love for you.

Hope you find this sermon useful. If you find this sermon useful, do share with your family and friends.

Thank you for listening and reading this sermon. I like to end with this song “When A Child Is Born”.

When A Child Is Born Lyrics

A ray of hope flickers in the sky
A tiny star lights up way up high
All across the land, dawns a brand new morn
This comes to pass when a child is born

A silent wish sails the seven seas
The winds of change whisper in the trees
And the walls of doubt crumble, tossed and torn
This comes to pass when a child is born

A rosy hue settles all around
You've got to feel you're on solid ground
For a spell or two, no one seems forlorn
This comes to pass when a child is born

And all of this happens because the world is waiting
Waiting for one child
Black, white, yellow, no one knows
But a child that will grow up and turn tears to laughter
Hate to love, war to peace and everyone to everyone's neighbour
And misery and suffering will be words to be forgotten forever

It's all a dream, an illusion now
It must come true, sometime soon somehow
All across the land, dawns a brand new morn
This comes to pass when a child is born

Hope you like this song. May you have a blessed Christmas.

Janice Ong

Founder of Christ Unite

 

 

Click This Link To Listen & Read The Testimony About Christmas & Jesus Christ From Janice Founder Of Christ Unite How She Comes To Believe In God

 

 

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