Wise Men Bow Down

December 5, 2021

Wise Men Bow Down

Christmas 2021
Matthew 2:1-12

“We’re living in a time when our achievement, our knowledge of science, has gone far beyond our power to control it. We have too many men of science and too few men of God. We brought about brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience; we’re living in a time of nuclear giants and spiritual pygmies.” -Omar Bradley

We don’t know how many wise men (“magi”) there were, but they were Gentiles who came to worship King Jesus and did bring three gifts. Tradition has it that each gift was brought by a different magi. Their visit to Jesus points us to the gospel being not just for the Jews but for the whole world.  How ironic it is that these Gentiles came from so far to see Jesus and that the priests who were so close (in Jerusalem) did not come to see Him at His birth.  God bypassed proud Jerusalem for His Son’s birth and chose instead humble Bethlehem. Matthew highlights God’s sovereign care in this infancy account of Jesus the King and the magi are a great example of what joyful worship is.

1. The Magicians (vv. 1, 2)

They were wise enough to .

They were wise enough to seek I.

2. The Opposition (vv. 3, 4)

The Chief Priests were corrupt, religiously oriented politicians who represented Jewish worship.
The Scribes (“teachers of the law”) were like lawyers who knew and taught the Jewish law.

You can know a text well and still .

Living out God’s Word
·       Write out the truth that the verse is stating in your own words.
·       Ask: what is the need I have in my life that God’s Word is exposing?
·       In light of the need exposed, what specific change is God moving you to make?
·       Write out how you’ll accomplish the goal you’ve set – put a reminder on your calendar and/or share it with a friend who will hold you accountable.

The religious men knew the Messiah’s birthplace and they did .

3. The Place (vv. 5, 6)

“Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; One will come from you to be ruler over Israel for Me. His origin is from antiquity, from eternity.”                                                                                Micah 5:2

Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem means that a relatively insignificant village becomes an extremely important city in God’s .

2 Samuel 5:2 (see also Ezekiel 34:11-24, Isaiah 40:11 and Jeremiah 31:10).

Mark 6:34 (see also John 10:1-18)

4. The Deception and Response (vv. 7-12)

They were wise enough to worship him when they .

2 Timothy 3:7

Matthew 1:21

Genesis 12:1-3

The invitation is for all of us in Matthew 2:  Come and !!

Matthew 28:18-20

The God who over 2,000 years ago sovereignly arranged the stars in the sky to direct the Magi to the Messiah, IS the God who has arranged all the .

Daily Meditation

Memory verse: After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.’”                                                                                        Matthew 2:1, 2

Read Matthew 2:1-12.  How does accurate knowledge of the details of the nativity scene help you to worship?

What’s the difference between magi and modern-day magicians?

Read Matthew 2:1-12.  How should our response to Jesus look like the magi’s response?

What was the significance of the “scepter” (read Numbers 24:17) and the “light” (read Isaiah 60:1–3) in the prophecies about the Messiah?

Read Matthew 2:1-12.  Describe the reaction of the religious leaders to Jesus’ birth. How does this reaction serve as a warning?

Why was Bethlehem a significant location for Jesus’ birth?

Read Matthew 2:1-12.  Why would Matthew specifically refer to Judah in his quotation of Micah 5:2?

How does Matthew point to Jesus’ kingship in this passage?

Read Matthew 2:1-12.  How is it clear that the star was not merely a natural phenomenon?

Read Matthew 2:1-12.  How does this passage speak to God’s desire to reach the nations with the message of Jesus?

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