GCC CHRISTMAS MESSAGE Dec 25th 2013
Matthew 2 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.’ ”
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. 11 And when they had 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 gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
Jesus is born in a little village, 5 miles out of Jerusalem.
As you all know born in a manger, poor area of town. Shepherds are informed of the birth and they rush to worship. Of course he was close to home and he came to them simple people.
As they were celebrating the birth, God miraculously speaks to some other people about the birth, these are the wise men. These men are very far away, 1000 miles from Jerusalem. They begin preparations to travel to the far country and meet the new born king.
It seems after the birth, Joseph got a little house to stay with his family.
WHO WERE THESE MEN?
1. They were men of influence. Possibly advisers to their king. They never had any problem meeting king Herod because they were not simple people.
2. They were from Babylon, present Iraq
3. They called the Magi. Wise men. It is the same root word from which we get the word magistrate.
4. It is thought that they were educated in the areas of medicine, history, religion and philosophy.
5. The studied the stars to get meaning about God. This was a pagan way of finding God.
Just like God decided to visit the shepherds he decided to visit the other class of people.
1. Well to do, educated and high class people.
2. He visited foreigners people who were not Jews, showing he came for all people.
3. He visited pagans people who had not connection to the God Israel.
When they heard about this special king being born.
They left everything and trekked this long Journey to meet the kings.
Although the Bible talks about 3, they were an entourage of many people, historians think they were over 300 people, using camels.
This journey may have taken over 3 months to get to Jerusalem.
THE NEWS OF THE BIRTH SPREADS.
When they reached Jerusalem they felt that it is important to consult.
But God used that opportunity to get the news of the birth to the palace, again God intended that the Gospel must be preached everywhere even in the palace of the evil King, Herod.
The king knew there was a messiah who was coming and he knew the scriptures talked about it.
THE WORD OF GOD CONFIRMS THE BIRTH OF THE MESSIAH.
He consulted the religious people and they quoted
Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth arefrom of old,
God introduced these men to the scriptures to confirm to them His Word. Anytime you get a vision or a prophesy it has to be confirmed with the scriptures. Heaven and earth shall pass away but His word will never pass away.
THE MEETING WITH THE BABY JESUS
11 And when they had 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 gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
When the men arrived they did 2 things.
2. Gave gifts.
They worshipped the baby King before trying to do anything. When we meet God the first response is to worship and give him our hearts. It is acknowledging who He is. It is giving Him our very lives before we do anything else.
Then we can give him our gifts, our talents, and our services.
THE MEANING OF THE GIFTS
Let us examine what they gave the baby king.
1. GOLD 2. FRANKINCENSE 3. MYRRH
1. Gold is one of the rarest and most expensive metals. It represented the wealth and power of a king.
2. Frankincense was used in the temple worship of the Lord. It represents the infant’s deity–He is truly God born in a human body.
3. Then there is myrrh–a kind of perfume made from the leaves of a rose. It was used in beauty treatments, but when mixed with vinegar it became an anesthetic. After a person died, myrrh was used to anoint the body and prepare it for burial. John 19:39 tells us that after Jesus died, his body was wrapped in linen along with 75 pounds of myrrh and other spices. The gift of myrrh then, pictures his suffering and death.
Gold pointed to his majesty . . . for he is king.
Frankincense pointed to his deity . . . for he is God.
Myrrh pointed to his humanity . . . for he was destined to suffer and die.
This baby that was born in Bethlehem was not just a baby but the one who fulfilled history. Christmas reminds that a king was born and his name is Jesus.
This King is powerful. He rules the heavens and the earth He has power over anything that defeats us. His rule is not just over a tribe or a nation but all the nations of the world. His has power and majesty, and this king went up to heaven and he setting up a place for us where we shall rule with Him.
Isaiah talked about his coming almost 600 years before he was born and he said:
Isaiah 9: 6For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lordof hosts will perform this.
Luke 1:30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
DO YOU KNOW THAT KING? IS HE YOUR KING?
HE WANTS TO BE YOUR KING.
The little boy who was born in a manger in this little village was not just a baby but he was also God himself. He is the one that John talks about as the Word of God and he says:
John1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
The Jesus we believe in was 100% human and 100% God. He can be trusted he can be believed in and the question I have for you today.
DO YOU KNOW HIM? HAVE YOU ACCEPTED HIM. HE CAME TO SHOW US WHO GOD IS AND HE WANTS YOU TO ACCEPT HIM.
The wise men brought Myrrh to prophetically point to Jesus as a Savior who was to suffer and die like sinner in order to save us who are sinners and had failed to reach God’s standard. BORN A KING BUT ALSO BORN A SERVANT WHO WAS TO DIE FOR THE SINS OF THE WORLD
For an angel had prophesied to Joseph:
Matthew 1:20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
This Jesus grew up and ended dying a sinners death to redeem all of us sinners who would reach a time in our lives and say we are tired of living in bondage to sin and sickness and whenever we would look at Him and accept Him, this Jesus would save us.
DO YOU KNOW HIM AS YOUR SAVIOR? IF YOU DON’T ARE YOU TIRED OF YOUR BONDAGE TO SIN AND ALL OTHER FAILURES. IF YOU ARE TODAY IS THE DAY OF YOUR SALVATION.