Jul 28, 2014
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Opinion: The Wise Men

Pastor Philip Kim of Korean Presbyterian Church of Bayside offers his commentary on Matthew 2:1-12.

Opinion: The Wise Men

The following is a sermong given by to a youth group at Korean .

We are nearing the Christmas day – which is a day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

So we are looking into some of the events surrounding this wonderful day.  Last week, we looked at how Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem – and how God used even people like Caesar Augustus to fulfill His prophecy.  We also looked at how the news of Messiah’s birth was first announced to the shepherds of the fields and the significance of that.

While these things were happening, we have some people from the east getting close to arriving at their destination.

These were the wise men.

God has revealed to these men that the King of the Kings will be coming to the world. So they left their country and followed his star.

There are a lot of unknown facts about these wise men.

They are usually depicted as being three wise men.  But the Bible does not mention how many there were.  I guess people just think because they brought three gifts that there might have been three.  But this is not definite.

How many is not important—it was what they did that mattered.

When we look into the story of these wise men, I would like us to remember three key words: faith, worship and sacrifise.

Faith, worship, and sacrifice are what we see from these wise men.

And those three words should always be the key words describing our devotion to Jesus Christ.

We know right off the bat that their journey was one of great faith. Can you imagine why?

As they were preparing for the journey, I’m sure people asked them where they were going. 

Their journey was one of great faith—having faith only in God that He will lead them and guide their path. 

Are there dangers? Are there risks? Of course!

Taking a leap of faith usually involves taking risks because you are never sure what will happen.

Do you know the story of Abram, when he was 70 years old God tells him to leave his country?

God says; “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.”

70 is about time to retire right? Imagine Abram telling is wife Sarai this.

“Hey dear! Let’s leave this place to move our whole family.”

What? All of a sudden? Yes, God said so.

God will very often do this in our lives.  He wants us to have faith in Him only.  Not knowing what will happen, we are to believe Him and take steps of faith.

God does not tell us exactly what we have to do now, and then do this next or the next.

We just have to believe in Him to lead us and do the right things every moment.

Now, what was the next key word for today?

Worship

What is the reason these wise men left their country to go on this journey of unknown? This journey of faith?

To worship Jesus Christ the King!

The moment to worship before the presence of the King meant more to them than anything in the world.

Otherwise, can you explain their actions of devotion?

It was all worth it for them to just be in the presence of the Lord and be able to worship Him. 

And this was the greatest thing they’ve done in their lives because; anything else they’ve done in their lives is pretty much unknown to the world. 

But the fact that they’ve come to worship the King is forever mentioned and talked about throughout the world as part of the Christmas scene.

Why does God see their worship as meaningful?  Meaningful enough to forever let people read about it and know about it?

Their names were not mentioned but their actions were.

What made their act of worship so worthy to mention and be remembered by God?

Because their worship had a key ingredient in it and that is sacrifice.

Sacrifice is our third key word.

Do you think that a lot of sacrifice was involved for them to go and worship Jesus?

You bet it did!

They left the comfort of their homes and journeyed to the unknown.

Most likely it was a dangerous journey.  Maybe it took months of travel going through some places they’ve never been.

Imagine how uncomfortable the whole journey might have been.

They were not doing a cross country on a train or a car.

They probably had many uncomfortable and sleepless nights.

And when they finally come to the place, they noticed that it is not a grand palace or luxurious room – but some shabby house guest room and the baby King was lying in a manger.

What was their reaction?  They were overjoyed.  For them it did not matter where but Who!

So they bowed down and worshiped the Christ, gave him their offering and then just disappeared back to their country.

They just disappeared when they finished what they came to do – worship the King.

There was no fancy pancy making big a fuss of what they’ve gone through to come all the way here.

They just quietly but with utmost respect, worshiped the King of Kings and that was just more than enough for them.

There are still people in the world that will walk 10 miles just to spend an hour or so in their church to worship God.  In Africa, I heard that the whole family would spend 31/2 hours walking to their church for an hour or so of worship and then walk back 31/2 hours.

So how do you think they praised God in the church?  With all of their strength and all of their minds and with all of their souls! They went all out and all spent to worship the Lord they’ve spent hours of walking to be with!

They were looking forward to the Lord’s Day throughout the week so they could do it all over again!

When our church had Christian camp in the Dominican Republic, we had bunch of kids and teachers coming all the way from near puero plata [the northern area] which takes them about 5 hours. So many people packed into the car that when they opened the door people literally poured out of the car. Car sick, hungry and hot—they are still happy to be there.

Sometimes people will go to extremes to sacrifice their time, money, and any other resources to worship God.

Billy Graham would have these crusades where tens of thousands of people will gather.  He would spend millions of dollars to have 3 days meetings in Madison Square garden.

Someone had asked him. Aren’t you going overboard? Spending millions of dollars for 3 days of evangelical conference?

To this he said; “Even if I spent more than that and got just one person to be saved – it will be all worth it. Because the bible says one soul is more valuable than the whole world.”

So for us, I hope that we never complain that we do too much or sacrifice too much for God. 

Because, compared to what Jesus had to endure from the very beginning of his life here on earth, until his death on the cross we have not sacrificed enough!

The wise men teach us a very important lesson about faith, worship, and sacrifice.

They are called the wise men because of how they lived.  

I hope that all of us can live our lives so that God can call us the wise people. Amen?

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