Christmas questions that determine your impact: What made the wise men wise?
The biblical account of the wise men is found in Matthew 2:1-12. They followed a star to find baby Jesus, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. They were diligent seekers for the truth. They were willing to follow the evidence and go wherever it led. They recognized who Jesus was and worshipped Him. They presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These men are unknown by name yet have left an incredible mark in the history of the Bible through their remarkable actions to young Jesus and His family.
Something To Talk About:
The wise men presented the baby Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. What should I give Jesus this Christmas?
- Give Him my trust: One thing that would probably be at the top of Jesus’ Christmas wish list is your trust. Remember, faith is a voluntary matter. Jesus doesn’t have your trust unless you give it to Him. We trust our friends, the bank, the stock market or the government more than we trust God and His Word. In John 15:5, Jesus says that apart from Him, we can do nothing. We need to lean on Him for help with everything in our lives. Trusting in Christ means that you’re not relying upon yourself but on Jesus. He wants us to put our confidence and trust in Him, all the time, in everything.
- Give Him first place: In a world that seeks to crowd Jesus out, where busyness abounds, and hearts are stirred to focus on other things, it can be hard sometimes to put Him first. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the whole hurried dash of the holidays, and to give our attention to what seems more urgent. Our focus gets blurred; and the most important gets pushed aside. It takes an active and daily choice to put Christ first. We need to remember that He is the One who brings true meaning to Christmas. He is the One who brings real peace in this all-too-often hectic season. He is the only One worthy of our time and attention as we slow down the maddening rush around our lives. We can know all of this in our heads, but may He help us to really believe it in our hearts… and choose to live it out this season. Make room for Him, first.
- Give Him my heart: What gift do you have for Jesus? Why not give Him your heart? There’s nothing He wants more. When Jesus has our heart our lives will show it. He will be our priority. We will seek Him first in every area of our lives. Every decision will be based on His Word and will for our lives. We will love Him and love others. We will tell others about Jesus. We will serve others. This doesn’t mean we will be perfect but a heart that is chasing God doesn’t need to be perfect. He uses our flaws, our issues, our mistakes and anything else that may seem negative for His glory. A heart for God wants to please Him, not people. Giving Jesus our heart is saying I yield my will to Your will.
- Give Him Others: What better gift you can offer Christ than to be a powerful witness to His life and mission and steer others toward Him. This is the very reason we celebrate Christmas. You can invite someone to Jesus this Christmas by telling them what Jesus has done in your life. We know from Scripture that the Wise Men didn’t just give Jesus whatever they had leftover when they visited Him on the first Christmas. Instead they gave Him three very significant and valuable gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh (Matthew 2:11). As you bring other people to Christ, you are giving Jesus a gift far more valuable than the ones even the Wise Men brought.
- What’s your favorite “unexpected” detail in the Christmas story? What is your favorite part of the wise men’s story?
- Does it surprise you the sacrifices the wise men made to see the baby Jesus? What do you think motivated the wise men to journey so far from home and their refusal to be diverted from their mission?
- What does their story tell you about their faith?
- Matthew 2:1-11 talks about the wise men’s journey to meet Jesus. How has your journey toward God been similar? Different?
- The Wise Men were led by a star to Jesus. What are various things in your life that lead you to Jesus?
- Read Matthew 2:11 again. In what ways do you worship Jesus? What gifts do you give Him? How do you sacrifice for Him?
- There must have been times when the going got hard for the wise men, it was a long journey, perhaps they did wonder if it was worth journeying on, but they kept faith and followed the star. And this of course happens on our journey through life, it gets hard, it seems complicated. What do we do when that occurs?
- Worship is not optional: as Christians we are called to worship Him, just as it was the first thing the wise men did when they reached Jesus. How does that apply to us today?
- The wise men went to great lengths to worship Jesus. But Jesus went to greater lengths to love them. How will you respond to God’s love for you this Christmas?
- What did you learn about God through the message? What questions do you still have concerning the message?
Take one thing home with you:
When these wise men “… saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.” (Matthew2:11) They had found the one they were looking for. It was all real. After their encounter with Jesus, God spoke to the wise men in a dream and warned them about Herod’s true intentions (verse 12), so they returned to their homeland by a different route.
We can see God’s creation and believe in Him. We can read the Bible and believe what it teaches us about Him. We can even believe the testimony of those who say they know Him. But believing all these things is no substitute for getting to know Him ourselves. God was no longer distant or silent to the wise men. Like many before and since, they discovered what it means to find Him. They were never the same again.