Sunday, December 21, 2014

Prepare Him Room, Part 4 (Matthew 2:1-20) Questions for Reflection

Dig Deeper
What is known about the wise men or magi who traveled from the east to worship Jesus is learned from the Matthew 2:1-16. Magi or MAGOS “refers to those who have wisdom through investigation and interpretation of the movements of heavenly bodies” (Holeman Study Bible Notes, Matthew 2:1, 7, & 16). These magi were believed to have originated from Babylon where their ancestors interacted with Jewish exiles at the time of the prophets’ writing of a coming Messiah. It is not known how many wise men there were only that they brought three types of gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 1:11). The names “Gaspar”, “Melchior”, and “Balthasar” are the result of legend and tradition and are not found in the biblical text. Further, as revealed by Matthew 2:11, “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother…” the wise men did not arrive the night of Jesus’ birth, but some time later.

In search of the Jewish Messiah these wise men logically made their way to the Jerusalem, the spiritual and cultural center of Israel. When the regional king, Herod inquired as to the birthplace of the Messiah the chief priests and scribes quoted from Micah 5:2. Read Micah 5:2-5. What details about the Messiah are revealed in this passage?

King Herod, lying to the wise men, instructed them, “Go and search carefully for the child… report back to me so that I too can go and worship Him.” (Matthew 2:8, HCSB) What do the following Scriptures reveal about authentic and inauthentic worship?

Matthew 7:21-23--

Mark 5:6--

Psalm 96:9 & John 4:24--

John 6:29 & Romans 12:1--

Hebrews 11:6--

Application

Pastor and author Louie Giglio observes, “Worship is the activity of the of the human soul. So not only do all people worship, but they worship all the time.” Herod’s lie to the wise men that he too desired to “worship” the young Messiah ultimately revealed the true object of his worship, himself. Jesus taught that genuine worship, the worship that God accepts is worship rooted in “spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). The starting point for this worship (“work”) is to “believe in the One” sent by God-- Jesus Christ (John 2:29). Have you, in response to God giving His Son on your behalf, surrendered your life to Him? Have you, like the wise men, discovered the gift of Christmas? (Matthew 2:10)