Scarborough Baptist Church

The wise men and the good news

Samuel Yun on Matthew 2:1-12, Luke 2:3-11, Matthew 2:16, Psalm 104:1-3, Daniel 12:3

December 4, 2011

This sermon, part of the Christmas 2011 series, was preached on Sunday Morning.

The story of the wise men from the East is only in the Gospel of Matthew. Why is it only in this gospel, and what is its meaning?

Jesus is the messiah for all the nations. Matthew, a gospel written originally for the Jews, includes the story of the wise men, gentiles, to make clear that Jesus is for all the world, not just Israel.

God can use anything and everything to proclaim the good news of Jesus -- the stars, the universe, all of nature. We, like the wise men, are gentiles who came to Christ. Now, we need to be like the star itself, leading people to Him. We, as people, can do more than the star: we can go to people and tell them about Christ.

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Matthew 2:1-12

1Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. 7Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 8And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. 9When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. 12And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. (KJV)

Luke 2:3-11

3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (KJV)

Matthew 2:16

16Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. (KJV)

Psalm 104:1-3

1Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. 2Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: 3Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: (KJV)

Daniel 12:3

3And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (KJV)