Sunday, December 18, 2011
Wise Men Came
Mat 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,
wise men; magoi in the Greek
Mat 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.
Tradition has it that they were three kings, but they were astronomers and probably more then three. Perhaps these were influenced by Daniel and his revelations? The wise men knew what they were looking for and were looking for a sign. They came to worship the Messiah. They were following a star, a sign in the heavens. We are not to go to seers, diviners, or sorcerers for spiritual direction, but many do. We go to the LORD. The wise men had to hear from the scriptures to know where the Messiah was to be born.
Dan 2:23 I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.
Dan 2:24 Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation.
Mic 3:7 Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Mat 2:3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
The people had no idea that a king had come. Herod was troubled and filled with jealousy and fear. Perhaps the people knew of Herod's ways and feared for what would be coming. Herod was a ruthless cruel king even killing members of his own family.
Counsel from the Scriptures
Mat 2:4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
Mat 2:5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
Mat 2:6 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.
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.
A ruler is born in Bethlehem who came from old, from everlasting. The everlasting king of the Jews is born in Bethlehem.
Mat 2:7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
Mat 2:8 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.
Herod sends the wise men to Bethlehem to inform him when the Messiah is found. The lying King said that he would worship him too, but the devil was in him. He would try to destroy the Messiah. Satan opposed Jesus from the start and will oppose his servants today and until he is judged by Jesus, the Christ, at the end time.
Gifts for the Messiah
Mat 2:9 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.
They saw the star in the east, they were from the east. The star would lead them west to Bethlehem.
I remember once riding a motorcycle with a full moon before me. The trees seemed to move by swiftly, but the moon remained in its distant position. Real stars are like the moon, distant and unreachable. A rocket may go to the moon, but the stars remain distant. To go to the sun, a star, you would burn up. This was a special star, a glowing star made by God that led the wise men to where the Christ child was staying. Perhaps it was a special fire like that led the Jews in the wilderness coming out of Egypt?
Mat 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
True worshippers rejoice at the presence of the Lord. The scribes and pharisees and the people that the Messiah came to bless, were uninterested and at the most frightened. How will you feel at the presence of our Lord?
Mat 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.
The baby no longer was in the stable. This meeting occurred sometime afterwards, for they were living in a house, but still in Bethlehem. It was not a permanent home, there home town was Nazareth.
The wise men fell down and worshipped him. They knew he was the Messiah. The Lord that guided them by the strange star also guided them in their hearts by His Spirit.
The wise men brought gifts to the messiah:
gold for his royalty as king of kings; spiritually it stands for purity
frankincense, a sweet smelling fragrance for the great high priest, (Exo 30:34-37) who would offer himself a sacrifice, being the atonement for our sins. Incense spiritually are the prayers of the saints.
Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
Rev 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.
myrrh, a spice for his burial. They wrapped the body with white linen, using aloe and Myrrh, as spices. (John 19:39-40)
Spiritually I see this as the cleansing of our sins by his death, burial and resurrection.
Warned in a Dream from God
Mat 2:12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
They were following God and hearing him in a dream. They were believers connected by the spirit of God to God the Father. They obeyed the Father and not the wicked king. They went home another way, not giving any information to the King.
When it comes to living and walking in truth, we obey God before earthly authorities. The apostles said it well when they were told to not witness for God.
Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
There are many perils in the lives of those serving our Lord. Satan is our enemy and he controls most of the world. God is our help, His Spirit our guide. As he guided the wise men and Joseph, he will guide us. We are of the light and the truth. Our God is greater then the god of the world.
Wise men and women still seek Jesus. We give him the gift of our needy lives and he gives us eternal life and the gifts of his Spirit. He makes us vessels of honor for his glory.
Mat 2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
The angel of the Lord comes to Joseph in a dream, apparently soon after the wise men departed with a warning and a command from God. Arise now, take the baby and Mary and flee into Egypt. Joseph had heard from the Lord before and believed. The just shall live by faith obeying God. There was no need to question, we are to obey. God sees the future and He is our guide.
He was told to stay until he heard again from God. How many of us let God direct our paths? Do we go as the Spirit leads us and do we stay until He says to move again? This requires a closeness to God, to be able to know his will. God wanted to be sure Joseph understood, because Jesus was in danger from Herod. " Herod will seek the young child to destroy him." I believe that they were still in Bethlehem because that is where the wise men went to find him in his house.
Mat 2:14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
Mat 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
Mat 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 inquired of the wise men.
Herod was so mad with jealousy, that he would kill his potential rival, to be sure of this, he had all the children under 2 years old killed who were in the region of Bethlehem. Another prophecy is fulfilled.
Mat 2:17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,
Mat 2:18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
Jer 31:15 Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.
Rachel had been buried in Bethlehem.
Gen 35:19 And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.
Gen 35:20 And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day.
Mat 2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
Mat 2:20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.
All is clear, come home again. Satan seeks to steal and kill and to destroy but we have the Lord protecting us. Who satan has divided and scattered, the Lord will bring back home. Blessed are those who trust in the Lord.
Prov 10:28 The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.
Prov 10:29 The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
Prov 10:30 The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.
Jesus of Nazareth
Mat 2:21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
Mat 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:
The angel having told Joseph to return to his home, because Herod was dead. They returned to Nazareth.
Mat 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
Nazareth comes from the Hebrew word "netzer" meaning "branch" or "sprout." It is used figuratively for that which is lowly or despised. The Messiah was lowly and despised by the world who knew him not. The old testament prophecy was probably Isaiah 11:1, concerning the branch of David.
Isa 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
Isa 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
Isa 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
Jesus is the one spoken of here; Lord of Lords, King of Kings, and the wisdom above all men, the wisdom of God .