The Wise Men Matt 2: 1-12 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
There are some very interesting things about these wise men from the east that we want to consider today. The wise men from the east:
Came from the east – Matt 2:1 – The likely place from which they came is the place where Daniel had been. In the book of Daniel, we find numerous prophecies concerning Jesus. One of those contains the prophecy of the seventy weeks [Dan 9:24-27] from which wise men could have estimated the approximate time of the Messiah’s birth. Remember that Daniel was in Babylon for the entire 70 year period of the captivity and ruled under Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius. His influence was widely known and so was his God because of the dream and its interpretation [Dan 2], because of what happened to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego [Dan 3] and because of the lion’s den [Dan 6], among other things. Notice that they were not 3 kings from the orient!!
Followed a star – Matt 2:2 – These men had been influenced by the astrologers common to their culture and influenced by their ancestor’s involvement with Daniel. Astrologers were consulted along with magicians and soothsayers when the kings sought counsel [Dan 1:20]. These astrologers studying Daniel’s God must have known the prophecy of Num 24:17.
Looked for the King of the Jews – Matt 2:2 – They knew that the child they were seeking was the King. There is something going on in the heavens that is replicated here on the earth. By comparing Is 24:21, Dan 10:13, 20, Eph 6:12 and 2 Pet 1:19 we understand that the rise and fall of kingdoms on earth can be “seen” among the hosts of heaven. Thus, these wise men knew that the arrival of Jesus’ star had to signify the arrival of a king. Sure enough, the prophecy concerning the place of his birth in Bethlehem indicates that he was born to rule Israel.
Responded correctly – Matt 2:10-11 – they rejoiced with great joy, while all Jerusalem was troubled [Matt 2:3]. They recognized that he was a young child, not a babe in a manger [as is perverted in the Christmas scenes today]. And they worshipped HIM rather than his mother [as is perverted in Catholicism today and dating back beyond their own Babylonian custom of deifying the mother and child].
Presented him with gifts – Matt 2:11 – they opened their treasures [where your treasure is there will your heart be also] and gave him three gifts: gold, signifying his deity [everything in the tabernacle was gold or covered in gold because God would meet them there]; frankincense, signifying his holiness [Ex 30:34] and his arrival as the bread of life [Lev 2:1, 24:7, etc with Jn 6:33-35]; and Myrrh, signifying his rejection by Israel [Gen 37:25], his death for them [Mk 15:23, Jn 19:39], and his eventual acceptance by them [Gen 43:11, Ps 45:8, SOS 1:13].
Followed God home – Matt 2:12 – they were warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod and so they went home by another way. This is a remarkable testimony to the Lord’s providential care of these men. It won’t be surprising to find them in eternity.
Conclusion: Today you don’t have to follow a star, you have the scriptures. Like these wise men, you should seek the Lord and when you find him you should respond correctly and receive him with joy, worship him [not his mother], present him with your treasure and follow him home [to heaven, the other way from which you were heading before receiving him].