Sermons

Sun, Oct 14, 2018

Follow The Star

Simeon says of this baby Jesus that He is a light to bring to revelation… then Simeon delivers a prophecy to Mary that the effect her son would have… “A sign… that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed…” By Jesus the thoughts of many hearts would be revealed. The life of Jesus would expose the hearts. Thats what we find here in Matthew chapter 2. Three responses to Jesus.
Series:Matthew
Duration:1 hr 43 mins 17 secs

Series: Fulfilled

Text: Matthew 2

Title: “Follow The Star”

 

Matthew 2:1-2 (NKJV)

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."

 

Luke 2:21-35 (NKJV)

21  And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

22  Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord

23  (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the LORD"),

24  and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."

25  And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

26  And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

27  So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law,

28  he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

29  "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word;

30  For my eyes have seen Your salvation

31  Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,

32  A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel."

33  And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him.

34  Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against

35  (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."



Simeon says of this baby Jesus that He is a light to bring to revelation… then Simeon delivers a prophecy to Mary that the effect her son would have… “A sign… that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed…”

 

By Jesus the thoughts of many hearts would be revealed. The life of Jesus would expose the hearts. Thats what we find here in Matthew chapter 2. Three responses to Jesus.

 

3 different groups of people are made aware of Jesus birth. Each group received the same exact message, the same ones of Jesus as the promised Messiah and Savior of the world.

 

Though each group received the same message only 1 group responds worthy of the news, while the other 2 groups respond in an unworthy manner.

 

As we study this this morning ask God which kind of heart do you have towards Jesus?

 

1. A worshipping heart

2. A Threatened heart

3. An Indifferent heart

 

What a person does with Jesus in accepting Jesus as Messiah or Savior or Lord or rejecting Jesus is not a reflection of Jesus, like Luke 2 teaches us, its always a reflection on our own heart and its condition. Our response to Jesus reveals our heart just as scripture says.

 

What we do with Jesus in this life exposes our hearts like nothing in this life will as either we discover our heart to be good or bad or loving light or loving darkness.



Matthew 2:1-2 (NKJV)

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."



1. The first response or reaction we see is that of the Magi in verses 1-2, 7-12… Magi, its where we get our English word “magic” and ultimately “magistrate” from the same word. They were astronomers and astrologers of their day.

 

These were men who gave their life to the study of the stars, the study of the heavens because they believed the heavens were the habitation of God.

 

They studied with the hope of receiving a revelation of God.

 

Believed in both God and science, highly educated men, philosophy and medicine,

 

They were esteemed men, powerful men who held high positions in the government or at least advisors to those in high positions.

 

Men like those that King Nebuchadnezzar who surrounded himself with these kind of men. Men he sought to interpret his dream but were unable and with whom Daniel did interpret the dream.

 

They were most likely students of the Old Testament. The Jews has brought the Old Testament scriptures with them.  

 

The Septuagint, the translation of the Hebrew Old Testament scriptures into Greek has existed for a couple hundred years now.

 

Maybe they had studied ancient history.

 

Maybe they were studying Daniel chapter 9…speaking of the time the Messiah would come into the world and they were looking into the heavens for a sign.

 

They sought to understand the times and the seasons.

 

Balaam prophecy in the book of Numbers, a star would come out of Jacob to bless the whole world.

 

The Magi didnt just want to see the star. The star would be a means of communicating with God, to just know the newborn king was coming, they wanted to see for themselves and to worship this king of the Jews.

 

It demonstrates the graciousness of God in how God meets us where we are at and draw us to Himself supernaturally.

 

A beautiful picture how God brings us out of darkness and our superstitions and brings honest seekers to the feet of Jesus.

 

What do the wise men have to do with the birth of Jesus anyway? What is the

 

Honest seekers they were indeed and God leads honest seekers into the worship of Jesus. God is working to bring every person to Jesus, to find forgiveness of their sin and into the worship of His Son.

 

There is no distance too great… that God cannot overcome to draw a seeker to His Son.

 

The Gospel is a happy ending…

 

God can use anything as a star to lead us and guide into a deep personal relationship with Jesus. If we are in darkness and are seeking God He will lead us out…

 

How wonderful it is to remember our testimony, to remember where we




John 6:44, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.”



There is always a star involved in bringing us to Jesus…

 

What was God using to draw you to Jesus…to bring you to faith in Christ

 

They came from the East in verse 1, to Jerusalem, to where they thought the King would be born.

 

 

They did’nt know Micah’s prophecy… explaining where the king of the Jews would be born…Bethlehem.

 

Micah 5:2 (NKJV)

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 are from of old, From everlasting."

 

The theologians point to Micah 5:2... Messiah will be born in Bethlehem.

It’s astonishing, 720 years before the first Christmas God revealed His Son’s exact birthplace. It’s a startling testimony to the divine authorship of the Bible.

 

One of the greatest miracles in all the Bible… lost men stopping and seeking directions. Matthew 2:2

 

Men…Here is something all men need to highlight here… Wise men stop and ask for directions…

 

Verses 9-10:  

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.



Verse 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.

 

They brought gifts fit for a king…

 

Gold, fit for a king. They recognized Jesus as King, These gifts were an act of acknowledging Jesus as their King. It was their personal expression of worship.

Frankincense, Jesus sinless life, it was used by the priests. Jesus came into the world as our Priest. We need a priest.

Myrrh, always used in the preparation of a dead body. Spoke of Jesus suffering in providing the forgiveness of our sins and the salvation that we so desperately need.

 

King, Priest, Savior.

 

This is an expression of their personal worship… this is who He is to us!




2. The second response or reaction to Jesus birth we see is King Herod, officially the ruler of Israel by permission of the Roman senate.

 

Matthew 2:3-8  

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.

 

Remember, the word “Christ” is Greek for “Annointed” - the Hebrew is “Messiah.” It was a title given to David’s offspring - the eternal king who’d rule an eternal kingdom.

 

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."



Herod wasn’t a Jew, Herod was an Idomeium, and because he wasn’t a descendant of king David nor was he a descendant of Abraham, the Father of the 12 tribes he couldn’t be Israel’s rightly King and he knew it.

 

He was a descendant of Jacob’s brother Esau, he was an Edomite. He was never accepted as King by the Jews for the simple fact he was not a Jew.

 

He always felt vulnerable and that he might be overthrown by the Jews displaced by someone who could show they were of jewish ancestry.

 

On a personal basis is he is a cruel man, he would eliminate any one he felt was a threat to his power. He was extremely paranoid and jealous.

 

He murdered his wife Mary Ann, and her mother Alexandria. He killed his three sons…

 

The Roman Emperor Augustus said it was safer to be a pig than one of Herod sons. Herod did’nt eat pork so the pigs were safe around him.  

 

When he was 70 years old and about to die he took refuge in his palace in Jericho which was the most beautiful of all his properties and there he ordered his military to arrest the 70 most prominent men in Israel and upon his death they too were to be killed immediately so as to create a great lamentation in the land. If they would mourn the death of Herod they would mourn the loss of their beloved leaders and tears would flow on the day of Herod’s passing.

 

Its this Herod that hears the news of Jesus being born.

 

When the Magi came into town they created a stir… Probably a large group with the supplies needed to travel a distance of several hundred miles. Their family members and servants would most likely be among them. All wearing outfits like we see wizards wearing, tall pointy hats and all. Not on camels but horseback…

 

Herod is concerned… where is this king to be born just as Micah had prophesied.

 

He instructed the Magi, when you find him come tell me so I can worship Him too. He had no intention of worshipping Jesus. He sought to eliminate Jesus.

 

Matthew 2:12-15

12  Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

13  Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him."

14  When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt,

15  and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called My Son."



When the wise man didn’t return with the news of where this newborn king was born,  Herod determined to kill all babies newborn from 2 years old and sent his army to carry out this inhuman act. He sought to eliminate the threat.

 

Matthew 2:16-18 (NKJV)

16  Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.

17  Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:

18  "A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more."

 

What Herod didn’t know was that Jospeh and Mary had been warned of God to flee to Egypt which was outside Herod’s jurisdiction.

 

What was the reason for Herod’s reaction to Jesus? Jesus was a threat to his power, his position his sin, his wickedness.

 

John 3:16-21 (NKJV)

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."

 

Darkness is behind all sin… Jesus is a threat to sin. We either repent or we seek to silence Christ. (As a society we have witnessed the removal of bibles out of classrooms, along with prayer, and the 10 Commandments removed from our courtrooms.

 

3. The third response or reaction to Jesus birth was that of the Chief Priests and Scribes.

 

Verses 4-8, 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."

 

Chief priests held the highest and most powerful positions in the Jewish faith , and the scribes who were the experts in the law of the Old Testament. They were the attorneys of Jewish law.

 

This is the most amazing group who wouldn’t even travel 5 miles to see this new born King, the promised Messiah. They deliberately ignored Jesus because of the comfort level they were enjoying in their religion business. They had money, they had power, they had influence. Not even the birth of the Savior

 

They were completely indifferent. The same is true today… The message of a Savior is brought to the majority goes largely unnoticed as they just go about their business. People shop and exchange gifts without a thought of the Messiah

 

People don’t want to risk seeking Jesus and Him upsetting their way of life. The demands God make upon their life.

 

3 Groups…

 

1. Magi… worshipped Jesus. Traveled a great distance to find and adore Jesus!

2. Herod was troubled by the news of Jesus birth. Herod sought His destruction and the

3. Religious leaders are indifferent. The mass of people who are content with their lives and uninterested in seeking God’s promised Messiah.

 

Wise men and wise women to still seek and come to Jesus!

 

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