Journey with Jesus: The Nativity
The Journey of Worship
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “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.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ” Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen 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 exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
This part of the Christmas story happens roughly 2 1/2 years after what we looked at last week out of the narrative of Luke chapter 2 when we talked about the journey of joy.
Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, commonly known as Suetonius, was a Roman historian belonging to the equestrian order who wrote during the early Imperial era of the Roman Empire
Wrote: An ancient superstition was current in the East, that out of Judea at this time would come one of the rulers of the world.
It is the last year of Herod the Great’s reign He is sickly and dying of an STD and possibly cancer. He has been the kind of king who spent his whole time on the throne protecting his throne
He weathered the division of Mark Anthony and Augustus Caesar and still maintained his power.
Around this time however his relationship with Rome is strained and Caesar says of Herod it is better to be pig then Herod’s son. With the meaning that Herod had killed so many of his own family but maintained a sense to the Jews that he was still kosher.
This is the type of leader that the magi find themselves in front of
Not only was the threat of a Messiah king worrisome to Herod but so was this entourage from the East as Herod had feared the worst for years that he would be attacked from the lands of the East and had built several fortresses along his Eastern boarder.
The wise men the magi were an elite political and spiritual force that had exercised authority since the time of Daniel who was appointed as one of their number they were interpreters of dreams and possessors of secret knowledge of the planets and stars. Due to the captivity of the Jews during Daniels time these magi had knowledge of the Jewish scriptures and most likely had used
“I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, And batter the brow of Moab, And destroy all the sons of tumult.
At this point is important for me to point out that this was not three men traveling to look for the manger.
This was a large procession of Magi and their security force.
This now sets the stage for our journey of Worship.
- The Longing to worship comes from God vs 2 We have seen His star in the east and have come to worship Him.
We all have that moment when God begins to show himself to us
Here he draws these men by their study of the stars and dreams
Jesus always will meet us right where we are at
What good news for a parent who has a child away from God
God does not have to clean them up to reveal Himself to them.
- Worship always costs you something vs 11 they opened their treasures
They were willing to go to great lengths to find this child
Why because in all their study and learning they had never found the true wisdom they had been searching for.
Imagine the cost
Approximately two and half year of travel with what could have been hundreds of men.
Gold the gift for Kings
Frankincense the only incense allowed on the altar in the temple.
Myrrh the perfume used primarily in embalming
The simple fact that they worshipped the toddler king indicates that they found what they were looking for.
You see when you find the one you are looking for price no longer matters. Why because you have found what you were looking for that one who can fill that God shaped void inside of you.
You will give it all to worship the true and the living God.
The Baptism in India
We get baptized for a social event
They get baptized to step across the line
- Worship must be something you cherish vs 11 they fell down and worshipped Him
God can not be something you try
I will do it because everyone else does
You must have a true experience with Jesus and then you will never be the same.
It is a full surrender
Is God drawing you this Christmas Eve to Himself?
Are you ready to give him all?
His love is here for you to cherish!