We Are Come To Worship Jesus

Preached at Riverview the Morning of January 8 2017


Matthew 2:1-2 (KJV)  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.

January 6th 2017 is a little known Christian Holiday called The Feast of the Epiphany. This was a day set apart by the early Church to remember the visit of the Wise Men to the Christ Child. This was a great event! The night that Jesus was born and laid in a manger (for there was no room for Him at the Inn) the Bible tells us that the Angel of God told (an unknown to us number of) Jewish shepherds

Luke 2:11-12 (KJV)  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, 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.

These shepherds left their flocks and went to town. They carried no gifts with them, but ran to receive the Gift of God laying in a manger. They found the Christ as a newborn baby (the Greek word for “BABE” is βρέφος brephos) cared for, but lying in a manger for want of a crib. Though many “Nativity Scenes” show the Shepherds standing with the Wise Men the Bible is clear – the Wise Men came later.
epiphany-feastWhen the Wise Men came to see Jesus the Bible tells us that they brought three gifts to Jesus – Gold, Frankincense, and Myrhh. The Bible does NOT tell us how many Wise Men there were. Further, the Wise Men did not find Jesus in a manger, but in a house. We are told:

Matthew 2:11 (KJV)  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.

Furthermore the Wise Men did not see a BREPHOS or a BABE, but a YOUNG CHILD (Greek παιδίον PAIDION). When Herod wanted to kill Jesus he sent soldiers to Bethlehem. We read:

Matthew 2:16 (KJV)  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.

Herod was looking to kill a “young child” not necessarily an “infant” or “newborn”. Why is all this important? Because we need to read our Bibles to understand the will and work of God.

What has caused these “Wise Men” or “Gentiles From The East” To Come To Jerusalem?

These undetermined number of “Wise Men” have, we are told, “come from the east”. They have been traveling for some time. Dr. Charles Stanley suggested that this unknown number of “Wise Men” were very probably astronomers who lived somewhere in Mesopotamia near the city of Babylon (In Touch, December 2011 pg 8). Five hundred years before the birth of Christ to Mary, the Prophet Daniel lived in Babylon and spoke of the Coming King. In Daniel 9:24-26 he prophesied that the Messiah – God in the flesh – would be crucified after 69 Sabbatical Years (or 483 years) after the decree was given to rebuild Jerusalem. These Magi knew of Daniel’s prophecy of the Coming of Messiah and His subsequent death. They had been watching the skies for signs of the Savior, knowing that the Scripture says that God put the stars in the skies not only to provide light for the earth, but also “to serve as signs” (Genesis 1:14). These “Magi” or Wise Men came seeking the Messiah. Their journey was not easy, but extremely difficult.

The Wise Men From The East Traveled 500 Miles To See Jesus

We don’t know exactly how many wise men there are, but if they came from Babylon (which is what many believe) they traveled 500 miles through rough terrain to see Jesus. They entered Jerusalem and started asking people:

Matthew 2:2 (KJV)  Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east ….

Think about the question they ask. “Where is He that IS BORN KING OF THE JEWS”? Jerusalem is the capital city of Israel, the place where the King of Israel would rule from. This is the “City of David”. Surely someone in the “City of David” would know where the “King of the Jews” was. But neither Herod nor Jerusalem was interested in the King of Kings. We read:

Matthew 2:3 (KJV)  When Herod the king had heard these things, he was TROUBLED, and all Jerusalem with him.

The Wise Men were excited. They have come from afar to worship the King of Kings. But Herod was troubled, (ταράσσω tarassō), disturbed, agitated, restless. He and all Jerusalem was filled with fear and dread. Why was Herod so upset? Because Herod the Great (as he liked to be called) was declared King of the Jews by ROME, not by God. This Herod had rebuilt the Temple, and ruled Israel for Rome though he had no right to rule Israel. Only those born of Judah were to be rulers, specifically those descended from King David. Herod was an Idumean, a descendant not of Jacob but of Esau. Though a cousin to Israel he was not even an Israelite. Herod was troubled! This troubled Israel. When Herod was troubled, he clinched his iron fist over Jerusalem. The people expected bloodshed, and wanted to do nothing to rock the boat.

The Wise Men were JOYOUS.
Herod was THREATENED.
Jerusalem was FILLED WITH FEAR.

What did Herod do? Did he pick up the Scripture and seek the guidance of God? No! The Bible says:

Matthew 2:4 (KJV)  And when (Herod) had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

Herod did as many people do. Rather than search the Scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life – and they testify of Jesus (John 5:39) Herod called for others and asked “what do you think?” Now there’s nothing wrong with calling for others, but we must study our Bibles for ourselves. Herod called all the chief priests and scribes of the people and that’s not a bad thing.

But Beloved, YOU must study YOUR Bibles.

The Chief Priests and Scribes told Herod:

Matthew 2:5-6 (KJV)  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.

They are quoting the Prophet who wrote:

Micah 5:2 (KJV)  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.

Bethelehem” which means “The House of Bread” is where
the Living Bread of God would be born.

Gathering this information Herod calls for the Wise Men and:

Matthew 2:7 (KJV) … enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

Herod wanted to know how long these Wise Men followed the Star of the Messiah. He wanted to know about how old the Christ Child was. After finding out how old Jesus was the Bible tells us:

Matthew 2:8 (KJV)  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.

I Want You To Compare The Mind Of Herod And The Minds Of The Wise Men

  • The Wise Men have traveled over 500 miles through harsh terrain to worship Jesus. Herod, on the other hand, will not travel 5 ½ miles to Bethlehem to look for Christ.
  • The Wise Men studied the Scriptures that Daniel left in Babylon, and based on what they learned followed Christ’s star to Jerusalem. Herod relied on others to study the Scriptures, and relied on others to see Christ.

Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Faith is not to sit back and be idle, but to believe that God is, and that God is a Rewarder of those that DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM.

  • The Wise Men DILIGENTLY SOUGHT Christ. Herod DILIGENTLY SOUGHT the Priests and the Wise Men.
  • The Wise Men SUFFERED to get to Jesus. Herod wouldn’t STEP outside of his Palace.
  • The Wise Men wanted to WORSHIP Jesus. Herod wanted to WIPE Jesus out.

The Wise Men stepped out in faith to find the Lord. When you step out in faith, God will bring you to blessing.

When Goliath shouts, faith finds a rock and a sling, and God guides the rock.
When the Red Sea blocks, faith lifts a staff, and God parts the waters.
When fire threatens, faith looks upward and Christ stands in the furnace waiting.
When false gods abound, faith trusts God on the mountain
& God sends fire from the sky.

Faith looks up before it looks around. The Wise Men heard the little “k” king:

Matthew 2:9-10 (KJV)  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.

The Wise Men followed the star, and God caused that star to stand over where the young Christ Child was. God is faithful! God is faithful! God is faithful! The Bible says:

1 Corinthians 1:9 (ESV) God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

We are faithless, but God is faithful. He will not lead us to the Promised Land without taking us through that Land. God does not take us to a wilderness to abandon us. No, God is the God of all comfort. He cares for us!

Matthew 2:11 (KJV)  And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him …

The Wise Men Worshiped Jesus

They saw the Young Child (παιδίον paidion) with Mary His mother. What was their response?

They fell down.
They worshipped Him.

Though they saw Mary they didn’t worship Mary. They DIDN’T see Joseph nor did they see any Shepherds or a manger. They came into the HOUSE and SAW JESUS. Their eyes were focused on Jesus. Their bodies responded to Jesus. They FELL DOWN. There is no worship of God without falling down, the humbling of self. John the Revelator saw in Heaven:

Revelation 4:10-11 (NKJV) the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 11 “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

There is no worship of God from Herod because Herod would not bow down to God. The lost will not worship Christ. God fell down and lowered Himself for us, coming to a manger, to a state of childhood, to poverty, to the dirt roads of Israel, to the hiss of the Pharisee and the mocking of the crowds, to the beating of the Roman soldier, to the nails of Calvary, to the agony of desertion, to “My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken Me?”, to the borrowed Tomb.

God humbled Himself to save us.
Why should we not bow down to God?

Matthew 2:11 (KJV)  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.

The Wise Men worshiped Jesus with their bodies, then they worshiped Jesus with their possessions. The Wise Men were led to Christ by Prophecy, and now their gifts are also prophetic. The Bible tells us that they gave three gifts worthy of a King.

Gold

Gold has forever been a precious metal. The Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:10-17) was overlaid with gold, and gold was used throughout the Temple to honor God. God knew the evil that was in Herod’s mind. Herod had no intention of worshiping Jesus, but wanted to destroy Him as he saw Christ as a threat to his throne. Right after the Wise Men left the Bible tells us:

Matthew 2:12-13 (KJV)  And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.  [13]  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.

God spoke to both the Wise Men as well as Joseph in a dream and told them “stay away from Herod”. God knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts. We are told in:

Jeremiah 17:10 (ESV) I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.

The Psalmist said in Psalm 139:1 “O Lord, You have searched me and know me”. God knew what Herod planned before he ever whispered it. God had the Wise Men bring Gold, I believe, because Joseph and Mary would need Gold for their trip to Egypt.

Listen Beloved: God knows your needs. Submit to Him as Mary, Joseph, and Jesus did, and God will meet your needs! He will give you victory over the enemy. He has promised!

Frankincense

Frankincense is a white resin or gum that comes from a Boswellia Carterii tree not native to Israel but commonly grown in Somalia (Africa) and lands to the east of Jerusalem. It is obtained from the tree by making incisions in the bark and allowing the gum to flow out. Highly fragrant when burned it was used in worship of God:

Exodus 30:34-37 (KJV)  And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight:   [35]  And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy:  [36]  And thou shalt beat some of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy.  [37]  And as for the perfume which thou shalt make, ye shall not make to yourselves according to the composition thereof: it shall be unto thee holy for the LORD.

Frankincense was used by the Priests in the Temple Israel. Jesus Christ is not only the King of His people, but He is our High Priest. The Bible says that:

Hebrews 4:14-16 (KJV)  Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.  [15]  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  [16]  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

The Chief Priests of Israel came and went, but the Christ Child would grow up to be both King and Priest of His people. The Bible says that He:

Hebrews 7:23-27 (ESV)  The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office,  [24]  but {Jesus} holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever.  [25]  Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.  [26]  For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.  [27]  He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.

The Frankincense of the Wise Men remind us that our way to God is through Christ. He is the High Priest of God. If you receive Him and worship Him, you will one day see God in glory!

Myrrh

Myrrh also comes from Arabia and was obtained much like Frankincense was. Myrrh had two uses. When someone was to be crucified the Romans discovered that they could mingle it with wine as a pain killer. Their intent was to extend the agony of the sufferer making death linger. When our Lord Jesus went to the Cross to die for our sins the Bible says:

Mark 15:23 (KJV)  And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

Matthew 27:34 (KJV)  They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with {myrrh}: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

Jesus refused to let His crucifixion be a matter of sport for the Romans. Jesus refused the wine mingled witg myrrh, but ….

Hebrews 2:9 (KJV)  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Jesus tasted death for you and I so that we do not have to taste death. He has conquered death in His Cross.

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

Taken down from the Cross the Bible says that He was embalmed with a hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes (John 19:39). The myrrh of the Wise Men speaks to the coming sacrifice of this Child, this Lamb of God. He would die for you and I – but rise again on the third day!

Herod could not destroy Jesus, for His time was not yet. The Apostle said in Galatians 4:4-5 (KJV)  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,  [5]  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Have you received the adoption of sons? Have you, like the Wise Men, found Jesus to worship Him? If you have, praise God! If not, beware. There is none other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. When you come to Christ you are blessed. Rejecting Christ, you are not. May God touch your hearts to receive Him by His Gospel!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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