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morethanababe

Most are familiar with the Christmas story and its various parts, the angelic announcement visitations, the shepherds in the fields, the Magi following the star, the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in the manger… I would like to look at the section that describes the Magi’s visit.

Matthew 2:1-6 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, 2 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. 3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 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.

NOTICE:

  • Wise men – it is a wise man that learning a way of salvation exists, seeks it out
    • Most likely many more than three
    • And also not Kings, but WISE MEN
    • Accuracy matters, especially in the small things
  • Excitedly searching – they had heard of HIM who was to come, and that His time had arrived- now they hungrily sought Him! Oh! To be filled with a hunger for Christ!
    • Matthew 2:9-10 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. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
  • Looking for a King! And they came bearing gifts with which to worship Him. They were bringing to Him gifts. How often we only approach Jesus for what He will give to us.
    • Matthew 2:11 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.
      • Magi, wise men, falling down before a child and worshiping him- oh! so much more than a child
      • Gold– for royalty. Here is the King of Kings; Frankincense– for a Priest. Our Great High Priest; Myrrh– for His suffering. The Lamb of God

These wise men  coming from the East, tradition holds from the teachings of Daniel himself during the Babylonian and Persian captivity, seeking out that which was foretold- the coming of the Christ! Where do they go, but to the King of Israel, the one who is supposed to be the Shepherd of the people.

  • Where can seekers come to find Jesus, but to those that are supposed to represent Him?

The wise men come seeking Christ and the chief priests and scribes recall the prophecy given in Micah some 700 years earlier:

  • Matthew 2:3-6 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,6 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.
  • And they were correct in pointing out this prophecy, but they left something out. They left out what men would always leave out. They left out that thing that makes men rage at the mention of it.

Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
More than a babe in a manger…

Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

  • This is that truth that men would reject and deny. It is that familiar outcry, “We would not have this man rule over us!”
  • The scribes and chief priests understood the prophecy:
    • The place: Bethlehem
    • A birth: “Out of thee shall he come forth
      • Verse 3: “until the time that she which travaileth hath brought fort…
    • The time: Sometime after the Babylonian captivity
    • They even understood that He was to rule Israel – the reason Herod was so troubled.
  • But they refused to admit that He was GOD manifest!

Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting:

  • Whose goings forth: Christ was not created at His birth- He WAS, IS, and shall ALWAYS BE
  • Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
  • Proverbs 8:22-24 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. 23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. 24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
  • John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
  • John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

More than a babe in a manger…

His deity was known!

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Isaiah 9:6-8 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. 8 The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.

Why does Christ have to be the Son of God- to BE GOD?

  • It is only God that can pay the penalty for our Sins.

1 John 4:10-14 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

1 Peter 2:21-25 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

1 John 3:4-5 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

Why do men deny this?

  • Because they hate God, and would not have Him rule over them
  • Because they love self and sin
  • Because there is a very real enemy who has blinded their eyes and deafened their ears to the truth of the Gospel and this is why we must publish Christ!
    • 1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Luke 2:8-17 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

We see throughout the telling of the birth of Christ, announcements- the angel told Elisabeth, Zacharias. Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, and the star announced it to the Magi… and then we see their response once having heard was to go and publish the news abroad. Now we must do the same.

Jesus: More than a babe in a manger…

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