Matthew 6:9-13 - After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom
come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive
our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
As we enter into the month of December it is appropriate that we start with the
book of Matthew. We will cover first the introduction to Matthew and follow up with the genealogy of Christ and during the
next two weeks we will of course cover the birth of Emanuel and other important issues that occurred because of his birth.
The Sermon for This Week is: The Visit Of The Wise Men - Matthew 2:1-12 - 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, 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. When Herod the king had heard these things,
he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together,
he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by
the prophet, 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. Then Herod, when he had privily called the
wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 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. 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. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great
joy. 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. And being
warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
1. Common to many nativity scenes commemorating the birth of Jesus is the presence of “three wise
a. Implied is that these men, three in number, visited Jesus while still in the manger
b. Is this what the Bible really teaches?
2. Matthew is the gospel writer who records this visit...
a. Which is found in Mt 2:1-12 – See Above
b. Which serves as the text for our study today.
[This story of “The Visit Of The Wise Men” is both interesting and of practical value.
Having read the text, let’s first note some...]
I. INTERESTING FEATURES OF THIS STORY
A. FOR WHAT MATTHEW DOESN’T TELL US...
1. Who exactly were these “wise men from the East”?
a. Some think they were a group of priests from Persia
b. Others believe they were astrologers from Babylon
2. How many were there?
a. No actual number is given
b. Three types of gift are mentioned (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.), but quality of gifts does not necessarily imply the
quantity of givers!
3. What was the nature of the “star”?
a. Was it an actual “star”?
b. Was it the planet Jupiter, often associated with the birth of kings
c. Was it a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the Sign of the Fish?
d. Was it a comet acting erratically?
4. How did these wise men connect the star with the birth of the king of the Jews?
a. Had they been taught by Jews of the Dispersion to expect the Messiah?
b. Had they been given special revelation from God not recorded in the Scriptures?
B. FOR WHAT LEGENDS HAVE RISEN...
1. That these wise men were “three kings from the Orient”
2. That their names were Melchior, Balthasar, and Caspar
3. That they visited Baby Jesus together with the shepherds the night of His birth
a. But it was some time later (up to two years!) - cf. 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, - Matthew
2:16 - 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.
b. They visited Mary and the child in a house, not a stable! - 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.
4. That they were later baptized by Thomas
[The facts are the Biblical record says little about who these men were. Perhaps because the emphasis
is upon what they did: “We have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:2 - 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. - 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.) What is important
is that Jesus is worthy of worship, which can only mean that He is truly deity (cf. “Immanuel”, “God
with us”). But there are other lessons that can be gleaned from “The Visit Of The Wise Men”...]
II. LESSONS TO BE LEARNED
A. IT IS EASY FOR FICTION TO BE TAKEN AS FACT...
1. We have seen what people have done with the story of Jesus’ birth
a. Making the number of the wise men to be three
b. Having them visit Jesus in the stable
2. There are other examples
a. Making the “forbidden fruit” in the Garden to be an “apple”
b. Depicting baptism in the Bible as pouring or sprinkling
-- We need to be like the Bereans (Acts 17:11 - These were more noble than those in Thessalonica,
in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.),
and make sure we get the facts straight!
B. THERE MAY BE TRUE SERVANTS OF GOD IN PLACES WHERE WE MIGHT NOT EXPECT TO FIND THEM...
1. The Lord may have many “hidden ones” (i.e., hidden to our knowledge) like the wise men
2. Their history on earth may be as little known as that of Melchizedek, Job, Jethro
3. We must not assume that God’s people consists only of those we know about, listed in “our”
a. There can be many faithful Christians in other countries
b. We may not know about them, but God does! - 2 Timothy 2:19 - Nevertheless the foundation
of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ
depart from iniquity.
-- Though unknown to us, we can still pray for them!
C. IT IS NOT ALWAYS THOSE WHO HAVE THE MOST RELIGIOUS PRIVILEGES, WHO GIVE CHRIST THE MOST HONOR...
1. One would think the chief priests and scribes would have been the first to go to Bethlehem, hearing
rumors that the Savior was born
a. But no, it was a few unknown strangers from a distant land
b. As John wrote in his gospel, “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him” - John
1:11 - He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
2. Sadly, the same is often true today
a. Those in the Lord’s church often show less love and adoration than those in the denominations
b. Children of Christian parents often show less interest than many children of non-Christians
D. THERE MAY BE KNOWLEDGE IN THE HEAD, WHILE THERE IS NO GRACE IN THE HEART...
1. The chief priests and scribes were quick to provide Herod the answer to his question
a. But as far as we know, they did not act on such knowledge
b. They did not go to Bethlehem, and some never did come to believe in Him
2. What about us today?
a. We may knowledge in the head (we know the truth), but do we have grace in our hearts (do we act on
b. We need to always grow in grace and knowledge - 2 Peter 3:18 - But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be
glory both now and for ever. Amen.
E. THE WISE MEN ARE A SPLENDID EXAMPLE OF SPIRITUAL DILIGENCE...
1. Consider what it must have cost them to travel
a. In money
b. In time
c. In dangers
2. What about our diligence? Are we willing to pay the price...
a. To find Christ?
b. To serve Him?
c. To worship Him?
-- They traveled at great costs and risk to worship Jesus; many Christians won’t even take the time
to attend a gospel meeting or a second service on Sunday!
F. THE WISE MEN ARE A STRIKING EXAMPLE OF FAITH...
1. They believed in Christ...
a. When they had never seen Him prior to their journey
b. When the scribes and chief priests were unbelieving
c. When all they saw was a little child on a mother’s knee!
1) Without miracles to convince them (except the star)
2) Without much teaching to persuade them
-- Yet they “fell down and worshipped Him”
2. This is the kind of faith God delights to honor!
a. For God saw fit to record their example of faith for us
b. And every time this passage is read, their example of faith is honored!
-- As Jesus said later in - John 20:29 - Jesus saith unto him, Thomas,
because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they
that have not seen, and yet have believed.
1. May the faith and diligence of the wise men serve to inspire us to greater service to our Lord!
2. Though the world around us may remain careless and unbelieving, let’s not be ashamed to believe
in Jesus and confess Him
3. We have much more reason to believe Him and worship Him...
a. His miracles, His resurrection from the dead
b. His teachings, His death on the cross for our sins
Are we willing to make the effort to find, worship, and serve this great King? As stated on a popular
bumper-sticker: “Wise men still seek Him”
Note: Some of
the main points for this lesson were taken from “Expository Thoughts On The Gospel” by J. C. Ryle.
Matthew 7:21-23 - Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the
will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name
have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart
from me, ye that work iniquity. – As we welcome into our lives this most glorious occasion - the birth of Christ; it is also appropriate
to remind all Christians that just because you confess to believe in Christ does not guarantee entrance into Heaven. God requires
unconditional love and obedience to Him – it must always be his terms and they are not negotiable. Our Heavenly father
knows that you being human are going to sin or even cause others to sin – but He does give you the ability to confess
your transgressions. Brethrens – give yourself the greatest gift you can ever give by taking a moment to drop to your
knees and confess your sins and ask for forgiveness. It’s that simple – to receive the greatest present you’ll
ever receive – just kneel down and confess your sins to your Heavenly Father.
Matthew 28:19-20 - Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Mark 16:15-16 - And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and
preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but
he that believeth not shall be damned.
Lord I truly thank You for giving me the opportunity
to present these words to my brethrens. I pray that You will give them Your eternal blessings and accept them into Your heart
- this I pray in the name of Thy Son, Jesus, the Messiah, Your only begotten
son which Ye sent to save mankind from themselves. Amen
be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace
be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. - Ephesians 6:23-24
This sermon is in the Public Domain - Free for all to use with the only requirement: That it never
be used for profit.