Worship The King


Matthew 2:1-2 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.

I love Christmas time. I love it because we are reminded that God became man in order to save us from ourselves. Christmas is a joyous time when we celebrate the Baby in the Manger. Christmas fascinates us. Marshall Segal of Desiring God Ministries put it beautifully when he wrote:

In Bethlehem a child was born, as millions of babies had been before him, and yet utterly and gloriously different. The Son of God, who held the universe in his hands (Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17), laid in the arms of another — now fragile, vulnerable, needy. He never stopped ruling every molecule in every galaxy, yet he had to learn his letters, colors, and animals.”

This Jesus – brought forth and placed in a Manger – is magnificently different from other Rabbi’s and Holy Men. This God in human flesh – “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:23) reached out to a people who had forgotten Him. Though the “multitude of the heavenly host would praise God, saying” …

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
(Luke 2:13-14)

Few would seek that Baby, that glorious Child of God in the Manger. A few shepherds visited by the angels would go and see Jesus. After seeing Jesus, these same men – the first missionaries – would

make known abroad the saying what was told them
concerning this child.”
(Luke 2:17)

You would think that there would have been a stampede from Jerusalem and Bethlehem and the cities round about, a literal black Friday mob heading toward that manger. It didn’t happen. People were too busy. It was, after all, the holiday season. We’ve got to get to Walmart for the last made in China plastic toy. We’ve got to gather around the table and have one more mouthful of pecan pie.

Outside of the shepherds who were watching their flock by night, no one else came to see the Baby Jesus.

Not that night. But there were others who came to see Jesus. We sing about them every Christmas. Well, sort of. We sing:

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts, we traverse far
Field and fountain
Moor and mountain
Following yonder star
Oh, star of wonder, star of might
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading
Still proceeding
Guide us to thy perfect light

Missionaries From A Foreign Land
Come To Jerusalem

Because of that song we believe there were three kings who came to see Jesus in Bethlehem. The problem with what the world tells us is that the world often gets it wrong. Now I love the song – I like peppy songs. And the song does celebrate Christ, which I love. But when you read and study your Bible instead of Google or Wikipedia you find out something interesting. You find out the truth.

Three kings did not come to see Jesus,
Though a king tried to kill Him.
Jesus was not in a manger when these men came,
but in a house (see Matthew 2:11).
And the focus of these early missionaries was not three gifts.
They came to “worship” Jesus (see Matthew 2:2).

How Did These Missionaries Come To Be?

Matthew 2:1 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

The Bible tells is that those who came to see Jesus were “wise men”. No number is given, but they are all called in the Greek μάγος mágos, (pronounced mag’-os). Thayers Greek Lexicon of the Bible notes that “the word is now regarded by many as of Babylonian origin”. That is very interesting. Thayers goes on to quote the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament:

the Septuagint Daniel 2:2 … for אַשָׁף; a magus; the name given by the Babylonians (Chaldaeans), Medes, Persians, and others, to the wise men, teachers, priests, physicians, astrologers, seers, interpreters of dreams, augurs, soothsayers, sorcerers etc.”

The Babylonians are famous and important to us because of two great truths. When God called the father of our faith Abraham to follow Him, and promised that the Messiah would come through Abraham’s line (see Genesis 11:28, 31; Genesis 12:1-2), it was in Ur of the Chaldees or ancient Babylon that Abraham lived prior to his following God. When Israel refused to obey the Lord it was in Babylon that Israel was conquered and exiled. One of the innocents that was caught up in the exile of Israel was a man named Daniel. Daniel was a believer in the Lord. When Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came unto Jerusalem, and besieged it (Daniel 1:1), Daniel was captured and carried away into Babylon to serve the king. The Bible says that:

Daniel 1:17 … Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

If you love God, God will love you. Daniel kept his eyes on God. When “King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and his spirit was troubled, so much so that he could not sleep, the king called for the magus. The King told them “tell me what my dream means. I’m not going to tell you the dream. If you are Magus – wise men – then you will know what I dreamed!” (my paraphrase). The Magus said “There is no one who can do what you ask! (Daniel 2:10-11) (again, my paraphrase. Get over it!). The King became angry, and was going to kill all the Magus!

Then Daniel intervened. Daniel knew God, and God knew King Nebuchadnezzar. God told Daniel what the dream meant – and Daniel went and told King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel told the King:

Daniel 2:27-28 … The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men (the Magus), the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; 28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are …

If you want to know what God told Daniel and the King GO READ YOUR BIBLES. It’s in Daniel chapter 2. But I told you all this to explain why the Magus were coming to Jerusalem looking for a Messiah. It was because Daniel followed God no matter what. After Daniel told the King what his dream was, the Bible says:

Daniel 2:48 Then the king made Daniel a great man… and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.

Daniel was made chief of the Magus. Do you know what Daniel did after this. Well, when he wasn’t watching television, cheering on his favorite teams, he held a Bible class. Yeah, I’m joking – but not about the Bible class thing. Daniel lived his life for the Lord. Daniel had foreseen the Coming of the Messiah, and taught the Magus all about the coming of the Messiah, our Lord Jesus. After Daniel passed away the life he lived for the Lord lived on. Do you know that ..

After you pass on – the life that you
live now will it live on?

If you only live for Jesus when it’s convenient, you’ll pass this attitude on to your friends, your spouse, your children and grandchildren. If you only live for Jesus about an hour on Sunday morning your kids will do the same – or less. If you never read your Bible your half faith will be inherited by those who remain after you depart.

Daniel lived for the Lord.
Daniel lived for the Lord when it was difficult.
When prayer was outlawed, Daniel openly prayed.
When Daniel was cast into a lion’s den, he taught them how to pray.
He fluffed up the nearest lion and used him as a pillow.
When his best friends Shadrach, Meshach,
and Abednigo were tested,
They went into a fiery furnace and held hands with Jesus.
Daniel and his friends loved the Lord.
They taught the Magus to love the Lord.

That’s why these men are in Jerusalem. These men are not “Kings” but are “King Makers”. When Babylon was overtaken by the Parthenon Empire the tradition of the Magus went on. For over 600 years the life Daniel and his friends lived was passed on from generation to generation. Shari Abbot of Reasons For Hope Ministries wrote:

When the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon, they established a hereditary priesthood of wise men, which was known as magicians or magi … When Medo Persia’s King Darius the Great reigned, he appointed Daniel to be master of the Magicians (Daniel 4:9) … the Magi held a dual priestly and governmental authority. Some have called them “King Makers” because they had power to give rule and authority.”

This is the reason that – when this unknown number of wise men entered Jerusalem, that:

Matthew 2:3 … Herod the king … was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

Three well dressed men riding camels would not have drawn any attention riding into Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the seat of King Herod’s throne. Travelers came through Jerusalem regularly, travelers from all over the world. What was more likely was that this was a cavalry of well armed men who rode into Jerusalem looking for “The King of the Jews”. I suspect when they first entered the populace told them:

Well, Herod is in his palace. Is that who you’re looking for?”

When they said “No, He has just been born. We are following His star. We have come to worship Him.” When King Herod heard this he was threatened. These “King Makers” are looking to recognize someone else as “King of the Jews”. When the King heard that the Prophet said:

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. (compare to Matthew 2:6)

Herod invited the Magus to the palace. “When you find the King come and tell me all about it so we can go together to worship Him” (Matthew 2:8, my paraphrase).

Herod didn’t want to worship Jesus.
Herod wanted to kill Jesus.

There was a song many years ago by a group called Tears for Fears. The song was “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”. That is so very true. When you threaten someone’s ability to “rule their world” things get ugly fast. Herod plotted the death of Jesus, even while the King of Kings was embraced in His mother’s arms.

You Cannot Rule The World:
Jesus Is The King of Kings

The Wise Men – the Magus – left King Herod’s palace and continued to follow the Star of Bethlehem. The King had been born – the King that Daniel had told them of hundreds of years before. The Bible says:

Matthew 2:9-10 {The Magus} 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 King that these wise men had been waiting for all these years was here. God placed a bright shining star over His Son. Here is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And they rejoiced with exceeding GREAT JOY!

Beloved, you will not have joy in your lives while YOU are in charge of your lives. You were made to walk with God. You were made in God’s image – not to BE God – but to BE WITH God. While you try to be God of your own life, or, as that poem Invictus (by William Ernest Henley):

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

How many people have tried to be “master of my fate” and “captain of my soul” – only to die miserably.

Michael Jackson dead of drug abuse at 50 years.
Elvis Presley
dead of opiate addiction at 42 years.
Whitney Houston
dead of cocaine use at the age of 48 years.
Robin Williams dead by suicide at the age of 63 years.
Marilyn Monroe dead of barbiturate overdose at 36 years.
John F. Kennedy
dead of an assassin’s bullet at 46 years.
And his son, John F. Kennedy Jr dead of a plane crash at 39 years old.
Rapper Tupac Shakur murdered at the age of 25 years.
Sir John Lennon murdered at the age of 40 years.

So many stars lived, burned brightly, and died. Their lives snuffed out. They all thought that they were “masters of their fate, captain of their souls”. They lived, burned up, and burned out. Oh Beloved, we cannot be kings of ourselves. But if we come to Christ and worship Him as wise people have always done then God will richly bless your lives. The world may never remember you – but your life will change others for the glory of God.

What The Wise Men Brought Jesus

Matthew 2:11 And when {The Magus} were 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 unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

The wise men brought Jesus three gifts that you can see, and one gift that you can see but do not often recognize. What are the three gifts you can see?

  • They brought gold. Gold is a gift that was fit for a King. Isaiah prophesied that when the Messiah came to Israel:

Isaiah 60:2-3; 60:6 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. 3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. … 6 … they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.

Our Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 17:14; 19:16). Gold was a fitting gift for the King of Creation.

  • They brought frankincense. Frankincense was used by the Levitical Priests while serving God (see Exodus 30:34). This was a special incense that burned only to God.

Our Jesus is the High Priest of our faith:

Hebrews 4:14-16 … 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.

  • And the Magus brought myrrh. It was myrrh that was used to embalm our Lord Jesus some 33 years later when He died for our sins on Calvary’s tree.

John 19:39-40 … And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

Jesus died for my sins, and for your sins. He died but rose again on the third day. He came from Heaven to this earth. He was born once in Bethlehem, so that you and I can be born twice. Jesus Christ died once on the Cross of Calvary so that we who love Him can live forever.

What Was The Fourth Gift
The Magi Brought To Jesus?
It Was Their Hearts!

Oh, that you would, with the Magi, give your hearts to Jesus. My Jesus has promised:

John 11:26 … whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Give yourselves to Him. Trust Him. Let Him rule your lives. Let His Word be your guiding light. Trust Him.

Romans 10:9-11 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed”. You only begin to live when you live following Jesus. Be like Daniel. Be like the Hebrew Children. Be like the Magi. If you seek Him, you will find Him, when you seek Him with all your hearts (Deuteronomy 4:29; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Jeremiah 29:13). Give Jesus your hearts. That’s what He wants. He will bless you, beloved ones.

May God touch your hearts with his Word.

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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