Matthew 2:1-2, 10-12
1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.
The journey of worship involves:
- SACRIFICE. Vs 11
We want worship that is convenient yet true worship costs, 2 Samuel 24:24 says: “I will not offer to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost [me] nothing.” It is not a matter of what we get out of worship, but what we give. The wise men came prepared to worship with worthy gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Yet the sacrifice was not just the giving of their gifts but the price they paid on the pilgrimage. They gave themselves to the journey, sacrificing their comfort and their safety, as travel in those days was often dangerous. It wasn’t just the cost of comfort and convenience it would also have cost them financially in food and lodging. Yet the greatest gift of sacrifice they gave to God was themselves, not just their treasures but their time. What God wants most of all above everything else is YOU. He wants your whole heart, your undivided attention. So what will you give Him, what effort will you make to worship God, will you give Him your best? Are you willing to give up not just your comfort but control and follow Christ?
- SUBMISSION Vs 11
When they arrived scripture says that they bowed down. Yet self doesn’t like submission because we don’t see how it makes sense, especially when we see grown men bowing to a child. Our sin nature fights bowing and serving yet when the wise men saw the star they were overjoyed and when they saw Christ they bowed. Why, because they knew who they were seeking, the one Born KING OF THE JEWS. When you view Christ as King Submission always makes sense. Submission is an acknowledgement of God’s sovereign right to control over your life. Jesus Christ is called Lord 747 times in the New Testament with the crowning reminder being Revelation 19:16 “On his robe and thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.” We often make worship about what we want but in your journey of worship do you really suppose God will let you “do it your way”? The question of worship is will you do it God’s way, because submission always results in a dependence on God and obedience to God.
- SHIFT IN COURSE Vs 12
Verse twelve reminds us that the journey after we worship Jesus is a changed one. “Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.” Isn’t it interesting that after they worshiped Jesus they could not go back the same way that they had come? Once you have met God you will never be the same. An encounter with God changes everything. Jacob wrestled with God and never walked the same the rest of his life. Isaiah stepped into the presence of God and proclaimed “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 6:5 He was never the same again. Obeying God and going home by a different way meant more unknowns, more difficulty, more dependence on God. When they left the house the journey of worship was not over, we make worship a destination and experience when in reality it is a journey. Experiences may excite us but it’s the journey that moves us. Job was a man who journeyed with God and it changed him. He started questioning God over and over again concerning his suffering and when God shows up Job says. “I’m speechless, in awe—words fail me. I should never have opened my mouth! I’ve talked too much, way too much. I’m ready to shut up and listen.” Job 40:4-5 (MSG) Job met God and became a changed man, which is what happens when we walk into the presence of God. That is what happened to the wise men when they encountered Christ, they were changed as everything become different. How about you, are you looking for a change in your life? Find Christ this Christmas and I can guarantee that you will be changed, things will be different. So will you step out in faith and seek Him as the wise men did?