What’s your reaction to Jesus’ Coming?
Matthew 2:1-11 (Pastor Heo)
The Visit of the Magi
1 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.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 ” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ “
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were **overjoyed**. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
I wish you a Merry Christmas, yes, but I also want to ask you a question: to whom can Christmas become really Christmas? Is Christmas really a merry Christmas to you?
We know the spelling of “Christmas” = “Christ” + “mass”
- “Christ” = Greek christos (The Anointed One, the Promised Messiah, the offices of King, Prophet, Priest)
- “Mass” = Latin? mas or mista? (this means “worship”)
- So, “Christmas” = “worship Christ”
- “Merry Christmas” = “worship Christ merrily”
So, when you greet others, please let them know the REAL meaning of Christmas. Please, bless your neighbor with “Merry Christmas” from your deep heart.
Based on this story, not only at THAT time, but even today, there are 3 reactions of man toward Jesus’ coming.
When hearing these, consider: which is mine?
# 3 Reactions to Jesus’ Coming
1. Reaction of Herod
Hatred / anger / fear
He was a temporary king, and was so afraid of a “real” king that he gave orders to kill ALL the baby boys in that area under 2 years old. He was afraid that this little baby would interfere with his power, position, influence, etc. So, he wanted to kill the baby Jesus.
Even today, there are those who want to (spiritually) kill Jesus – even in their attitudes – because they wish to do whatever they like / want to do. But Jesus will not allow them to.
The man who only wants to do whatever he wants has no use for Jesus Christ.
The coming of Christ is the greatest challenge in this world.
Imagine if I say: “Change your job / hobby / health / hairstyle / weight / etc” – this may be a big challenge and he will be angry at me.
But Jesus’ coming can be the GREATEST challenge and attack to his life. This means: “Change your Lord / Savior / Master / life purpose / priorities / etc”
Please remember, the Christian in the one who has STOPPED doing only what he likes and has committed himself to doing what CHRIST likes and wants.
This is the true identity of a Christian in front of Christ.
2. Chief Priests and Teachers of the Law
Indifference / apathy
At that time, they were so engrossed in their own temple actions and rituals that they completely disregarded Jesus Christ. Jesus meant NOTHING to them.
This is a strange story.
The chief priests were the MOST religious leaders, so their FIRST concern should be God. But when God became man, they missed it.
The teachers of the Law were doctors and masters and professors in the matter of Scripture. The theme of the Scriptures is the Messiah to come – but when the Messiah himself CAME, they did not recognize it. How sad!
- they spend their WHOLE lives studying Scripture and
- the WHOLE topic of Scripture is Jesus Christ,
- but they MISSED Christ.
This is also possible today:
Someone spends his WHOLE life and activity attending church, but he missed Christ.
Thus, a Christian’s FIRST concern must be Christ. Please, do not forget: A Christian’s FIRST concern must be Christ.
A believer’s first purpose, first interest should be Jesus Christ.
3. Reaction of the Magi
(wise men from the East)
Adoring worship = the purpose of the journey of the Magi
God bless you to be wise men.
- Say, “I’m wise…”
- Tell your neighbor, “You look so wise!”
Jesus says in the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7) “Anyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. When the rains come and the winds blow, the house remains standing because it is built on the rock – with a firm foundation…”
Adoring worship = the purpose of the journey of the Magi
Yes, our life in this world is a journey. On coming to the house (3 or more? because there are 3 kinds of gifts), they saw Mary and Jesus (maybe Joseph as well) – but they worshiped Jesus ONLY.
Joseph and Mary are NOT the objects of our worship. Worship belongs to God alone – this means that we recognize that Jesus is God – the very nature God.
When we recognize the love of God IN Jesus Christ, we also should be lost in wonder and praise.
- They came to worship Christ as their best gifts.
- We must know that for our worship to be true worship, we must give Jesus our best gifts as well.
Gifts of the Magi
They knelt down and worshiped him with their BEST gifts. These are very symbolic gifts: characteristic of his ministry and person:
1. Gold = for a KING
Jesus was born to be King of the world
Whether he or she knows it or not, EVERYONE has their own king.
Jesus is to rule over our whole hearts and lives – he is our personal king. Before we can be best friends with Jesus Christ, we must submit to him. When we say, “Jesus is my King” it means we are totally ready to give our complete submission to him and to kneel down before him.
What is the gold you will give Jesus today?
2. Incense (frankincense) = for PRIESTS
This perfume was used in the temple.
We know the main job of the priest was to open the way for God to man. “Pontifax” = bridge builder = between God and man.
Because of sin, there is a big gap between God and man. This is what Jesus did. Jesus opened the way to God for us. But he did not say, “I made the way to God for you.” But rather he said, “I AM the way.”
“No one comes to the Father except by me.” He is:
- Wonderful Counselor,
- Mighty God,
- Everlasting Father,
- Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
3. Myrrh = to embalm the one who was to die (PROPHECY)
Jesus came into the world to live for us and then to die for us. He came to give his best for us, and his death for us.
He gave us his BEST gift, so it is only natural (our privilege) to also give OUR best gift to him. Isn’t that just logical?
Jesus: “I did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for all people.”
Remember, since the creation of the heavens and earth, Jesus is the ONLY person whose ancestry, birth time, place, manner, reception, rejection, suffering, persecution, crucifixion, resurrection was ALL prophesied – even hundreds of years before he was born.
This means that Jesus is the CENTER of the world’s desire, the keystone, the foundation, the cornerstone of ALL prophecy from the creation of the world.
So, the WISEST man is the one who gives his BEST to Jesus.
There is hope.
The WISEST gives Jesus his BEST.
To give to Jesus is the BEST investment, the best insurance, the best savings, the best deposit in eternity and for eternity.
How and for what do you spend your
- Treasures, and
Merry Christmas! (Really?)
Yes, I wish a Merry Christmas to all of us until we stand before Christ as Lord and God.