Matthew 2:1-12 (Week 3 – A Thrill of Hope Christmas Series)
Jason White







When the Magi walked into the presence of Jesus their response was to bow down and worship Him. They understood that even though Jesus was a toddler at the time, He was the One who was before all things and who holds all things together. The only proper response to being in the presence of The Almighty God is to bow down and worship Him. It’s our only response as well.

Matthew 2:11 – 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, frankincense and myrrh.





Sermon Audio Transcript
But now we get to continue in worship. As I said, by diving into God's Word together. If you have your Bible or a device with a Bible app on it, you can open it up to Matthew chapter two. That's where we're going to be this morning. It's where we've been the last two weeks, we've been in this Christmas message series on the book of Matthew that we've been calling, a thrill of hope we started in Matthew chapter one, verse one, and we've just been going, verse by verse looking at what Matthew writes about the Christmas story, seeing it through his lens, he was one of the disciples and he had the opportunity to, to know Jesus and to be an eyewitness to many of these things that we see taking place all throughout the four gospels that are found in the New Testament of our Bibles. And as we look at the Christmas story, I mean, it really does fill us with a thrill of hope. Because this was written at a time where things were dark, God had seemed silent, right. And people were wondering, Is God still actively involved? Is he still doing something people were experiencing things in their own lives that weren't great. They were experiencing things within the realm of government and those who were ruling and reigning that weren't great, and people were really losing hope. And we saw a few weeks ago how but what Matthew writes about the genealogy, even how that reminds us that God had not forgotten about his people, that he was actively involved throughout history, moving things along, to bring Jesus Christ into this world to be the Savior of the world. And so that alone should fill us with a thrill of hope to remind us in our own lives, that when we walk through hard things, when we're suffering and going through difficult situations and circumstances in our own lives, or we look out in our world, and we see it's a dark world that we live in. And we wonder if God's really up to doing anything in it right now. We go, Oh, yes, we're reminded through the Christmas story, that God is always actively involved in doing something and we can keep our eyes fixed on him and have hope that he's at work to do something for our good and for His glory. Last week, we talked about how Jesus was born into this world, as Emmanuel as God with us and the fact that he didn't just come to be God, like with us here on Earth for 33 years, and then leave us for good, but he came to be God with us forever. And because of his finished work on the cross, and because of his resurrection, and how He sent the Holy Spirit to come dwell in us. When we say yes to Jesus, He is with us now and forever, again, filling us with hope. Because we don't go through this life alone. We have everything that we need for life and godliness in him. And so today, as we turn the page, we go into the next chapter of Matthew, what we're going to see is then how to respond to that hope, what this hope ultimately leads us to do and so let's just dive right in. Matthew chapter two, verse one, he says, After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east, came to Jerusalem, and asked, where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose, and have come to worship him. Okay, so the first thing that we see here is who was in charge, at the time that Jesus was born King Herod, right. This was the guy who was ruling and reigning in this time. And let me just tell you, this guy was not a nice guy. All right, he was pretty ruthless in his rule and reign. And he became pretty paranoid, especially late in his life of people that were always trying to overtake the throne. I know people are conspiring, and they're out to try to get me and so what he started doing is just killing anyone and everyone who he thought might be trying to take the throne, it didn't matter if there wasn't any truth to it whatsoever. If he just imagined something up, then it was Off with their heads. I mean, this is the way this guy rolled arrays. Matter of fact, he had tons of wives and tons of kids and he killed some of them because he thought that they were trying to take over his throne. And so this is who we're dealing with, at the time that Jesus was born into this world. Matthew tells us that during that rule and reign that these guys called Magi came. They came to see King Herod and they were we're asking him where's the one who's been born king of the Jews, we saw his star and when it rose and have come to worship him, Now, the thing is, we're not really told much about these guys. We don't really know a lot about the Magi. Some of you think you know about the Magi, but you don't really know about the Magi because the thing is, we sing this song around Tom called Three Three Kings and right and we just make the assumption then that first of all these guys were kings. Guess what? They weren't kings. All right? These guys were leaders in astrology and wisdom and magic kind of things. They were most likely from Babylon. The other thing that we don't know about them is how many of them there really were we sing the song, We Three Kings, we think that there were three of them. A lot of us think that because of what we're going to see later on in Matthew two, where there were three gifts that were brought in to go, well, there must have been three Magi because one for each gift, and we see the plays and act it out and how one brings each one of them. Does Matthew say there's three here? He didn't say there's three here, we don't know how many there actually, were most likely there were more than three, because most likely these guys were from Babylon. Do you know how far it was from Babylon to Jerusalem? 900 miles. That's a long way. Especially in this day and age, this was a long trip, it was a dangerous trip. And so most likely, with these guys carrying these expensive gifts that we're going to see later on, they had more people around them because of the situation and the circumstances. And so Matthew tells us that this was who was in charge that the Magi and again, we don't really know how many it was that there were, but that they came, and that the reason they came was to ask about Jesus. Now we don't know how they knew this. We don't know how they knew about Jesus being born, and him being the king of the Jews. As a matter of fact, these guys are pagans. I mean, these are not Jewish people. These guys are from Babylon most likely. But obviously God is working behind the scenes to compel them to come in some way. And so before we move on, the thing I just really want you to see from this is how God is at work, even through the sending of Jesus, what we see even in this story right here, to send his Son into this world for all people. This was not just for the Jewish people, for his nation, these were pagans living in a foreign land. And we'd see this in other places of Scripture, but just one more confirmation that the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ really is for all people. And when I say for all people, I mean all people, white, black, brown, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, poor, rich, popular, unpopular. I mean, it doesn't matter where you've been, what it is that you've done, or who it is that you've done, whatever that was to Jesus came for you. He came for the Magi came for his own people. You came for all of us and what my hope is for you, if you're here today, you're watching online today. And you've never said yes to Jesus, you've never received His free gift of forgiveness and salvation, then you would keep an open heart and an open mind to see who he really is. The love that He has for you to send his one and only Son to come here to die ultimately for you. So again, we see King Herod, we see he's sitting on the throne, we see they come ask him about another king. Do you think he's gonna be very happy about that? No, I mean, we already talked about how paranoid the guy was about other people. And now they're saying there's this other king, and so he got upset. But it wasn't just him that got upset. It was other people that got upset. When King Herod were told I heard this, he was disturbed. But we're not surprised by that being who he was. But then watch this, and all Jerusalem with him. seems kind of strange, all of Jerusalem. So when just King Herod, it was all of Jerusalem. And so we're told that when he had called together all the peoples chief priest and the teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born.In Bethlehem in Judea, they reply, for this is what the prophet has written. Notice here, they're not going by their own guesstimates. They're going by what had been written hundreds of years before this point, but you, oh, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means the least among the rulers of Judah, for out of you will come a ruler, who will shepherd my people, Israel. This is from Old Testament passage, Micah, five, two. These are guys who were familiar with the Old Testament. He came here and calls all of these people then here and says, Hey, tell me about this. You guys are the ones who study it. You guys are the ones who know the most about this. So where is he to be born? Now, picture this right? Again, the These guys are leaders of the religious community. And you've got people who have just traveled 900 miles for some reason to say, hey, where is the king of the Jews? Where is it that he was born? Where should we be going to go and worship him in? How did they react? They didn't react by going, oh my gosh, could this be it? Oh my gosh, this could be the one this could be the Messiah that had been written about hundreds and hundreds of years ago. And so we need to go investigate this, we need to go see it. They're not filled with wonder they're not filled with excitement. They're not ready to go into go worship Him like these pagan guys are? No, no, we were told that they were disturbed. The religious leaders who knew the most about the Messiah, and where he was to be born, were disturbed. What does this say to us today, it says that you can know a whole lot about Jesus and completely miss him. I don't want that to be you today. If these guys knew this much about him, and he was right there and they completely missed Jesus, then it is very possible for you and I to also miss Jesus, maybe you're here today. And you're just checking this whole thing out, and you have your own preconceived ideas about who Jesus is or who he was. Or you've heard what other people have said about him. And well, those things must be true, what I've heard on the news and what other people have kind of said on social media about him, that kind of thing. Maybe you've been actively involved in church, and you've read all the stories, and you've listened to tons and tons of sermons and you've thought it was all about the rules, and all about the regulations and all the stuff that you're supposed to do. And then there's all this stuff you're not supposed to do. And I can't seem to not do those things I'm not supposed to do. I don't know if I really want to do these other things here. And it's just been all boiled down to that. Well, that's not who Jesus really is, and what it is that he came to do. It's a matter of fact, we're reading from one of the four gospels right here, there were four people who follow Jesus and wrote about their time with him and his life. And another one of the disciples his name was John wrote several things down about what Jesus did try to help demonstrate who he was, and, and what this whole thing is about. And he gets to the very end of his gospel. And he says, By the way, here's why I've written and included all of these things in here. So look what he says this is at the very end of the Gospel of John, in chapter 20, verses 30 and 31. He says, Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book, like, Y'all, if I had to write down all of them, right? I mean, we'd be here forever. He's saying, I couldn't record all of these here. But these are written, why John, why did you write these down, that you may believe that Jesus is who, number one, that he is the Messiah. Number two, that he is the Son of God. And here's why. That by believing by believing what will happen, you may have lifein his name. Thisis who Jesus is, John says, He's the Messiah, he's the son of God. And this is what it was all about. The whole reason that he came was so that you might have life in his name. Notice what John does not say. He didn't say that he came so that you could follow a bunch of rules. He came to that you wouldn't do all of these things, and that you would focus really hard on doing all these things. It doesn't have anything to do with religion. You were separated from Christ, who is life, you were spiritually dead, you were meant to be in union with Him, you were missing out on real abundant life. Do you know that's why you're always looking while you're always searching? While as soon as you think you find it in one situation or circumstance, the Fade, the feelings just fade away. And then you gotta go find another situation or circumstance because that life never satisfies. But Jesus is life. He says, and this is what he came to give you. And so if you have Jesus, you have life. It doesn't matter what your situations or your circumstances are. This is what Jesus came to offer us life as a gift. Nothing you can do to earn the life doesn't have to do with the things you've done, the things that you've not done. It's a gift. He did all the work, it was his work reverted is the finished work on the cross, He took all of your sin, all of my sins, placed them upon itself. And he paid the penalty for them. He could do that because he was fully God, and he didn't have any sense to pay for. But he could also represent us because he was fully human, and therefore he could pay the penalty for us. You ever had anyone else do that for you? You ever been in school and like God, I'm the one who did it. But anyone else ever stand up in class and go you know what, I'll take his punishment for him. No, but that's how much Jesus loves you and what it is that he left the glory in heaven to do and he offers it to you a gift in the way that you receive If that gift is through faith, again, it's yours, you can have it. But just like any gift, you have to receive it. I mean, if I told you, Hey, you wanna you could have my cell phone, when you kids, you don't have a phone and I want to give it to you as a gift, right? Even though I'm offering it to you as a gift, and I said, it's yours and you don't have to do anything that aren't you can just have it no matter who you are, no matter where you've been, or what you don't want you to have it, okay? It's not really yours until you come up and you do what, you've got to receive it. You got to take it out of my hand. It's the same thing that Jesus has done. He's done all the work. He says, it's here, here's my salvation. Here's my forgiveness. Here's my life, you can have it. It's a gift, no matter who you are, where you've been wondering if John, but you got to receive it, you got to take it. Well, how do you do that through faith, through him being the way the truth and the life he says no one comes to the Father, except through me. And so again, if you're here this morning, you've never said yes to Jesus, you're constantly looking for life, in your identity, and through your gender, or sexuality are the things that you've done, or the world says where the life is. And all of those things. This is none of the life is found in those things. The life is found in his name, it's in Him and Him alone. Don't miss who Jesus is. Don't walk out of here today without saying yes to him. Okay, so, back to our text. We were here, Matthew, two, five and six, the Magi had come, they were saying, where's he to be born? It's a king, king here, it's gonna be upset about all of those things. They're upset about those things. And then here's what happens after that. Matthew two, beginning in verse seven. Then Herod called the Magi secretly, and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. I sent them to Bethlehem and said, Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me why, so that I too, may go and worship him. Herod has absolutely no intentions of worshiping Jesus, he is paranoid. This is someone that might dethrone him. And he wants to get rid of him. And we'll talk more about this next week, he goes to great lengths to try to make sure that he's taken care of him as well. Matthew goes on. Verse nine, says, after they heard this, that king heard the king, they went on their way. And the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was, when they saw the star, they were over joyed on coming to the house. Now there's something interesting that we need to see. Let's talk about that for a second. Many of you have these little manger scenes, right? And then the manger sings is seen as is Mary and Joseph. And there's the cute little baby Jesus. And there's the three kings who weren't really kings. They were Magi, right. Well, does Matthew say on coming to the manger here? You didn't say coming to the manger does, he says I'm coming to the house. This was after Jesus's birth. This was a little bit further down the road. This is after Jesus was born into this world as an infant, he's grown up, they've moved on from the manger, and they've settled into a house. Now, the other thing that we see here is I'm coming to the house that says they saw the child notice he doesn't refer to him as a baby any longer. Anytime this language was used here, it means that most likely, Jesus was somewhere around nine months old to maybe two years old, right? I mean, he was a toddler. All right. And so we're told that on coming to the house, they saw this toddler, this one or two year old child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and they worshipped him. I've been around a lot of one and two year old kids before. From the sound of it, there's a lot of you who have been around a lot of one and two year olds too. There's a lot of things I'd like to do to some one and two year old kids, especially my own when they were that age, right? But bowing down and worshipping them was never one of them. And yet, this is what they did. Not only did they bow down and worship Him they opened up treasures and treasures, expensive things go they presented with frankincense and myrrh and then having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod. They read turn to their country by another route. So, again, hate that some of you have kind of had your mind's blown a little bit. A lot of you knew this, but you're going, Wait a minute, now I have to go back and I've got to rearrange the whole manger scene at my house, right? I mean, they weren't there. He was older and all of those things, but again, no matter how old it was that he really was during this time, he's still a child. He's still young, he's still a toddler. And yet these guys are bowing down. And they're worshipping here, the Greek word that is translated worshipped here is post Conejo. ProScan. EO means to reverently bow down before to show respect to not just anyone, but to someone who was considered deity to a God, right. And so this is appropriate worship for a God and yet he is a toddler. But again, the writers of Scripture, Paul even says this in Colossians, make sure that we understand that Jesus was no ordinary child, that this one who was born in a manger and was living in this house, this one or two year old that they were in the presence of, was the son and that this Son is the image of the in visible God, the firstborn over all creation, Paul says For in Him, all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things have been created, watch this through him. And for him, did you know that all things have been created by him, and they are all for him, right. And then here's the last thing that I want to just highlight that he says about him in this next verse, He again referring to Jesus, the one that the Magi are falling down, bowing down in worship is before, all things you want to use to be before all things means your eternal, you have no beginning and you have no end, right? He is before all things. And in Him, all things hold to gather. These Magi were not in the presence of any normal, ordinary child, they were in the presence of the one who was before all things can you imagine staring at a one year old, and going,I am in the presence of the one who is before all things.And who holds all things together. In his hands. He's the alpha and he's the Omega, he is the beginning and the end. He's the one that Scripture say, the angels fly around and in heaven declaring Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come as Emily read about, he's described as the wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. He's the light of the world, the bread of life, the Good Shepherd, the great I AM. And as John says, in John 1125, he is the resurrection. Jesus said this, the resurrection and the life. This is who the Magi were in the presence of at this moment, and the only the only proper response to being in the presence of the Almighty God, even if he is a toddler, at this point in time, is to fall down on your face before Him and worship Him, quite honestly, is the only response that you and I have today as well. That when we come into the presence of the all mighty God who was in he is in is to come, the only proper response is to bow down and worship him as the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. It's what we've gathered here together to do. Back in our worship center. It's why it's called a worship center. Because this is where we gather to worship the church gathers in this worship center, to worship Jesus, the one who was born into this world and who was before all things and holds all things together. And so as we conclude our service today, it's what I want to give you an i the chance to do the only proper thing to do when we encounter him to fall on her face before Him and worship him as the one true God. And for many of you, that may mean just standing and singing and declaring the words that are true, maybe raising your hands, maybe physically bowing down and worshiping and the same way that you saw All the Magi for some of you though maybe you've never said yes to Jesus and the first act of worship is to receive His free gift. You've got to receive the gift. He's trying to give it to you. But you've never taken a step of faith and received and before you can truly ever enter into worshiping him. He's got to be in your life. And so maybe the first thing that he's leading you to do today is to say yes to His free gift. Would you receive it today by placing your faith and trust in Him, maybe there's some of you who have been coming for a while and your regular attenders, you show up. But he's saying to you today, I want you to get more involved. These are your people, I want you to be with them and worship with them and use your gifts to, to serve here and build up the body of Christ and be used together to influence this community with the good news of Jesus Christ. However, it is that he's leading you whether that's to receive salvation, whether that's to join the church today, or this this is to stand and declare who he is and worship Him through singing. I'm going to pray. Emily's going to come up and lead us in this final song. So I'm gonna go ahead and invite you to stand as I pray and we get ready to worship in this moment. Together. Would you bow with me?