Presentation on theme: "The Gifts of the Matthew 2:1-12. What kind of giving pleases God? 1782 Famine in France Marquis de Lafayette – Grain prices high – Estate Manager - This."— Presentation transcript:
What kind of giving pleases God? 1782 Famine in France Marquis de Lafayette – Grain prices high – Estate Manager - This is the time to sell – Lafayette - No, this is the time to give! – Real love is often measured by our willingness to let go of what we possess – The thing we grip most tightly is often the very thing God asks us to hand over to Him!
The Wise Men Few biblical stories are as well known – But clouded by myth and tradition – Middle Ages legend They were kings They were three in number Their names were Casper, Balthazar, and Melchior –Represent the sons of Noah - Shem, Japheth, and Ham –One is often pictured as an Ethiopian In Matthew 2, we are not told – Their number – Their names – Their means of transportation to Palestine – The specific country or countries from which they came
The Magi – v. 1 1.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 – Wise Men = magos Magi = Latin for the Greek magos – Behold! = astonishment, strong attention getting word!
The Magi First appear in history in the 7th century bc – A tribe of the Medes in eastern Mesopotamia Semites like the Jews and Arabs descendants of Noahs son Shem Like Abraham from ancient Ur in Chaldea Soon associated solely with the priesthood within the tribe – Skilled in astronomy and astrology – Had a sacrificial system like the one God gave to Israel through Moses – Involved in sorcery and were noted for their ability to interpret dreams – Magic and Magician are derived from Magi
The Magi Combined knowledge of science, agriculture, mathematics, history, and the occult – Religious and political influence grew – Became the most prominent and powerful group of advisors in the Medo–Persian and then the Babylonian empire – They often were referred to as wise men The law of the Medes and Persians was founded on the teachings of these magi – Daniel 6:8, 12, 15 – Esther 1:19
The Magi King Makers – No Persian was ever able to become king without mastering the science and religion of the magi – Controlled judicial appointments - Esther 1:13 – Jeremiah 39:3 - Nergal–sar–ezer the Rab–mag, chief of the Babylonian magi - with Nebuchadnezzar when he attacked and conquered Judah Book of Daniel – The magi were the highest–ranking officials in Babylon – The interpretation of Nebuchadnezzars dream – Daniel 2:48 - Ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon
The Magi Daniel was highly regarded among the magi – His great wisdom – Daniel 2:24 - successfully pleaded for the lives of the wise men who failed to interpret the kings dream – Daniel 6:4–9 - The plot against Daniel resulting in the lions den was by the satraps, not the magi
The Magi Daniel 9 & 12 – Prophecy of the 70 weeks until Messiah – The magi learned of the one true God, the God of Israel – They understood His plans for the coming glorious Messiah/King The magi from the east – Literally from the rising of the sun – True magi came to see Jesus – They were waiting for His sign!
A Great Question 2.Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews? – The Magi were sincere seekers of God Why? because of the way God led them and responded to their needs This is the Search we are all on – They saw His Star in the East - Why a star? The shepherds in their fields, and the Magi as a sign in heaven God always reveals Himself in a way we can understand – They have come to worship Him Our hearts need is to worship the Creator! Following the light God gives will always lead us to Christ!
The Quest of the Magi - vv. 1-10 1.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, 2.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. 3.When Herod the king heard this, 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 inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5.So they said to him, In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: 6.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.
The Quest of the Magi - vv. 1-10 7.Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8.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. 9.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. 10.When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.
The Star of Bethlehem God gave the Magi the sign of His star in the east – Much speculation about the identity of that star – Jupiter, the king of the planets in conjunction with Regulus – the King star – Some say the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn – Others that it was a low–hanging meteor, a comet, or simply an inner vision The Bible does not specifically identify the star – We cannot be dogmatic – It may have been the glory of the Lord - the same that shone around the shepherds when Jesus birth was announced to them by the angel - Luke 2:9
The Star of Bethlehem What is clear – The magi were not following the star - they had to inquire about where Jesus was born – They saw His star in the east – The star reappeared and then stopped over Bethlehem
The Purpose of the Magi They came from the east to Palestine – To find the One born King of the Jews and – To worship Him! Worship – Full of meaning – The idea of falling down, prostrating oneself, and kissing the feet or the hem of the garment of the one worshipped
The Purpose of the Magi They were true seekers after God – Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart – When He spoke to them, they recognized Gods voice and responded – They recognized the light God gave them A sign that led them to Jerusalem – God will use extraordinary and even miraculous means as necessary to get our attention – But He uses the Scriptures to speak His Truth to us It was the Scriptures that guided them to Bethlehem – When we follow the light of Scripture, we will not walk in darkness!
Finding the Will of God They rejoiced exceedingly with great joy – The Magi believed and acted on the Scriptures as soon as they heard them – The Jewish religious leaders, even though they studied and knew the scriptures, failed to find the Messiah - and He was only 5 miles away from them!
Finding the Will of God – Follow the light God gives you – God will confirm His will with His Word – Obey God without question – He will lead you each step of the way!
The Worship of the Magi - v. 11 They came into the house to worship Him – These events probably occurred several days or weeks after Jesus was born – From 2:11 - Jesus family was now staying in a house rather than the stable where He was born – Mary and Joseph offered a pair of turtledoves (Luke 2:24) instead of the normal lamb (Leviticus 12:6–8) says they were poor
The Worship of the Magi They saw the child with Mary, His mother – A child who came to die for your sins because God the Father loved you so!
The Worship of the Magi They saw the child with Mary, His mother They fell down and worshiped Him – Fall down and worship Him, just like the Magi – He is the Messiah, the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world! – They worshiped only Jesus! – Only He was worthy of adoration
The Worship of the Magi They saw the child with Mary, His mother They fell down and worshiped Him They opened their gifts – Giving is a response to Him in worship They came prepared to give! They committed their lives in pursuit of Him! – Their giving was not an addition to their worship, but an integral part of it Right worship is the only basis for right giving and right learning and right service
The Gifts of the Magi Gold – Always considered the most precious of metals – The universal symbol of material value and wealth – A symbol of royalty – Matthew presents Christ as the King of the Jews – He is the King of kings and Lord of lords – Appropriately being presented with royal gifts of gold
The Gifts of the Magi Gold Frankincense – A costly, beautiful–smelling incense – Used only for the most special of occasions In the grain offerings at the Tabernacle and Temple In royal processions At weddings if it could be afforded – Origen said frankincense was the incense of deity – In OT it was sprinkled on offerings as a symbol of the peoples desire to please the Lord – The sweet smell of sacrifice – Speaks of Christs priestly role of offering the sacrifice for our sins
The Gifts of the Magi Gold Frankincense Myrrh – A valuable perfume – Represents the gift for a mortal, emphasizing Jesus humanity – Mixed with wine it was also used as an anesthetic – Mixed with other spices it was used in preparation of bodies for burial
Our Giving Picture of all of our giving, especially Christmas giving! – Gold – 1 st and foremost - for the glory of God
Our Giving Picture of all of our giving, but especially Christmas giving! – Gold – 1 st and foremost - for the glory of God – Frankincense - The sweet smell of sacrifice! Like Gods giving - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son... God gives purely because He loves us! Our giving is rarely to the point of sacrifice but God gives without limit! We usually give when some one cries out for help! God gives to those who neither realize their need nor appreciate His gift Our giving is usually done to friends - God gave His own Son who died for the ungodly!
Our Giving Picture of all of our giving, but especially Christmas giving! – Gold – 1 st and foremost - for the glory of God – Frankincense - The sweet smell of sacrifice! – Myrrh - Giving out of the death of self Live in total obedience to Him Think of Jesus first, then others, and lastly, yourself This is the only way you can give!
The Return of the Magi - v. 12 Warned by God – They were warned by God not to return the way they had come – God will keep you from the evil one if you walks in obedience to Him! Departed by another way – Anyone who comes to Christ will go home differently and be a new creature! – 2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new
The Gifts of the Magi Worship – God calls each of us to come and worship the King – God expects our worship to be giving of self to Him for His glory! – God expects us to leave by another way after we worship the King!