I Need You Christmas: Learning from the wise men
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.
Something To Talk About:
- The wise men came in search of a King greater than themselves. The wise men invested their time and resources on something that was worth the investment. They were committed to seeking truth over a very long trip that scholars believe could be 600-900 miles. It was an expensive and difficult journey, but their desire to know was stronger than their desire for comfort.
- And when they found Jesus, they fell down before Him and they worshipped Him. “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2) The Scripture says that “When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!” Worship brings joy. Worship and joy are inseparable partners. And the wise men discovered it in Jesus Christ.
- The wise men were changed by their encounter with Jesus. When the wise men found Jesus, Matthew does not say that the magi studied Him, debated about Him, or postponed deciding what to do about Him until a more convenient time. The Bible says they fell down and worshipped Him. That is the only rational response. If Jesus is who God says He is, our Savior as well as our King, then we owe our unconditional allegiance to Him. Our proper position is on our face before Him.
- What was true two thousand years ago is still true today. Wise men still seek Him, and when they find Him, they worship Him. They worshipped someone worth worshipping. They found God in the person of Jesus Christ.
- How would you describe yourself today? Are you wise? You are wise if you have followed the light you have been given. You are wise if you have believed the Gospel. You are wise if you worship Jesus. You are wise if you have surrendered your heart to Jesus. You are wise if you listen to Him and heed His voice. He will change your life, and He will give you the best Christmas you ever had.
- 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.” (Matthew 2:11) 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.