Characters of Christmas – Matthew 2:1-12

December 26, 2021   /   IMPACT Church

Characters of Christmas – Matthew 2:1-12
Sunday, December 26, 2021

Pastor Chris Laughlin

Introduction

Come, listen to a story — a masterpiece, unfolding before our eyes. An Angel. A scared young Jewish girl. A bewildered fiancé. Wise men. Kings from the east. The wicked Herod. An innkeeper. Shepherds in the field. Prophets, paupers, philosophers and wanderers. A story that transcends presents or brightly lit trees. When we crack open the pages of the Christmas story we find it full of familiar characters like Mary, who’s rooted not only in the Christmas story but church history, and Joseph, who fades into the background as the story progresses. We even find obscure figures like an innkeeper who, despite his seemingly small role, the writers included in a story that would change history. Who are the characters of Christmas? This is a story you don’t want to miss!

December 5 – The Characters of Christmas – The Unsung Hero

December 12 – The Characters of Christmas – The First to Know

December 19 – The Characters of Christmas – Room for Jesus?

December 26 – The Characters of Christmas – Seeking & Finding

IMPACT Church 101 E. First Ave. Parkesburg, PA 19365
(610) 857-3887 [email protected]

1. Finding what you are seeking on what you know. (2:1-2)

a. Wisdom comes by .

Then the king appointed Daniel to a high position and gave him many valuable gifts. He made Daniel ruler over the whole province of Babylon, as well as chief over all his wise men. Daniel 2:48

b. Understanding comes from .

1It was the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede, the son of Ahasuerus, who became king of the Babylonians. 2During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, learned from reading the word of the Lord, as revealed to Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years. Daniel 9:1-2

2. Sometimes the is right in front of you. (2:3-6)

a. Follow the clues to find the .

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will come forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His times of coming forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”  Micah 5:2 (NASB)

b. Ignorance is not an .

“…16the message of one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open: 17I see him, but not here and now. I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel. It will crush the heads of Moab’s people, cracking the skulls of the people of Sheth. 18Edom will be taken over, and Seir, its enemy, will be conquered, while Israel marches on in triumph.” Numbers 24:16-18

“For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born.”  John 7:42

3. Knowledge makes all the . (2:7-11a)

a. When our is clear, we can see .

…And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. Matthew 2:9b

b. When the object of our desire is found, our heart fills with .

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

c. Desire leads to true worship.

You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 1 Peter 1:8

4. From a joyful heart comes our desire to . (2:11b-12)

a. Acknowledge His of your life. (gold)

Pilate said, “So you are a king?” Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” John 18:37

b. Humble yourself before His . (frankincense)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 (NASB)

c. Identify with His . (myrrh)

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14 (NASB)

5. What kind of are you?

a. Like Herod & his court – driven by hostility & ?

7because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:7-8 (NASB)

b. Like the religious elite – preoccupied, indifferent, or ?

“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:21

c. Like the wise men – driven to worship, awe, & ?

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-11

Closing: Which character are you most like today? What do you need to change to be more like the wise men?

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