The wise men are a common feature in the Christmas story. There are a few myths about the wise men that have become tradition over the years. First, that the wise men were at the manger when Jesus was born. That’s not true. Second, that there were three of them. There was a large group of wise men from the east, but we don’t know how many of them there were. There were three gifts mentioned and that’s where someone got the number three wise men. Third, that this was an official entourage from a distant country. One of those familiar hymns says We Three Kings. In reality they weren’t kings, they weren’t public officials, they weren’t coming on behalf of any government, God only classifies them as wise men. “Wise Men” is not an official title, it is how God described an entourage of people looking for the King of the Jews.
Wise men desire to worship Jesus (vss 1-2)
- There is a pursuit to worship the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
- Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
- Faith of the worshipping wise men
- Worshipping Jesus Christ was greater than the unknown travels ahead.
- Worshipping Jesus Christ was greater than the personal cost to them.
- Worshipping Jesus Christ was greater than the time it would take to find the Lord.
- Worshipping Jesus Christ was greater than the distance they would have to travel to find him.
- Philippians 3:7-10 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Wise men followed the God given light they had (vss 9-10)
- That star has piqued many a Christian’s interests as to what it was. Our Sun is a star, but it would be impossible to figure out what house it was sitting over at any particular time of day.
- The light was visible where they were.
- The light led them in the right direction.
- The light stopped at the Lord Jesus Christ.
- External witness in creation
- Internal witness in conscience
- Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
- Romans 2:3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
- Rejected light is a moral issue, a convenience issue, or an ambitions issue.
Wise men have the joy of the Lord as their strength (vss 9-10)
- It was their motivation.
- It was what they were living for.
- It helped them overcome obstacles like strength will do.
Wise men offer offerings that meant something to them (vs 11)
- Gold – universally recognized value
- Then they brought some essential oils
- Frankincense – an oil that is burned and perfumed the tabernacle
- Myrrh – an oil that perfumes to cover other smells. Used in Christ’s burial.
- They brought costly goods to the Lord Jesus Christ.
- 2 Samuel 24:24 And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.
Wise men don’t leave the way they came (vs 12)
- Safety strategy.
- To make an application, after you’ve been with Jesus, you shouldn’t leave the way you came.