Although the visit of the Magi took place at least 2 years after Jesus’ birth it isn’t wrong to preach a Christmas sermon based on the incident, because still the narrative is about Jesus’ birth. In it Matthew introduce us to 3 kinds of people and how each one of them responded to the news about the messianic birth. Each response reveals to us the kind of person they were.
Text: Matthew 2:1-12
1. The king
A. Herod’s response was carnal. The NT says he was an insecure, tyrant and a murderous leader.
B. He perceived Jesus’ birth as a threat. He attempted to kill the child and when failed destroyed all the boys in Bethlehem.
C. Herod was very close to the truth but missed because his carnal mindset stood in between him and the Messiah.
2. The scribes
A. The scribes were apathetic. The fact that Bethlehem was only 6 miles away from Jerusalem and none of them paid a visit confirms this.
B. They scribes were a group formed of Pharisees and Sadducees. They were interpreters of scripture.
C. The most passionate is often not the one with the most knowledge of Scripture but the one who has learned to live accordingly.
3. The Magi
A. Unlike Herod and the scribes who had access to scripture the Magi responded to the sign with their hearts wide open.
B. Although they were the most intellectual people of the day did not hesitate to acknowledge Jesus’ superiority.
C. Still Matthew writes the Magi worshiped Jesus because what matters most is the manner in which they responded to their discovery.
Jesus is God’s incarnated word (John 1:14). In the light of it how we respond to God’s word is the same way we would respond to Jesus if he was born among us today. Let me draw 3 implications in conclusion.
The carnal Christian – Like Herod he is worried about earthly things only. They resist correction, crave for power and see others as a threat.
The apathetic Christian – He has a the head knowledge of scripture. But take God’s word for granted, likes to show off their head knowledge, quick to judge others.
The open hearted Christian – Although may not possess a lot of head knowledge about scripture he is open to correction. Christ is the Lord of his life.