The wise men and worship
Greg Gillam on Matthew 2:1-12
This sermon, part of the Christmas 2011 series, was preached on Sunday Morning.
Do you worship Jesus? It is a simple question. As Christians, we want to say 'Yes, of course I do!' But what is the way of worship? Is it automatic? In this Christmas narrative, where Magi from the East visit Jerusalem searching for the King of the Jews in order to worship Him, we too learn what it is to worship the King -- and how exactly this happens.
We also discover some of the hindrances to worship. King Herod, for example, was concerned about his own empire. He considered Jesus a rival and thus he could not bow down to Him. Similarly, we can be locked up in our own world and too self-concerned. Yet worship transcends our own sphere of personal existence. Moreover, the people of Jerusalem and their religious leaders did not worship the Christ-child. When they heard the news from these Gentile who have followed a star of all things, they too are 'disturbed'. The Jews knew their Scriptures, but they didn't even bother to search for the Child. How unresponsive are they compared to the Gentile astrologers who have traveled from afar, seeking to worship a King from a foreign nation?
So it is the Magi who challenge us. They are the ones who seek the King. God is the One who guides them all the way to the Saviour, to bow down... and worship!