Text: Matthew 2:1-11; Micah 5:2; Psalm 72:10,11,15
Prop: a poster of the baby Jesus receiving gifts from the wise men.
Summary: Wise men from the east gave gifts to the baby Jesus and worshipped him as God. Today men who are wise still worship Jesus.
Do you know who has a birthday at Christmas? [Jesus] Yes, the baby Jesus is the reason for the season. Now tell me, how many of you like to get presents on your birthday? [ask for a show of hands] Yes, all of you! Well today I want to tell you about the baby Jesus and the gifts he received shortly after being born.
The people of Israel knew that the Savior would one day be born in Bethlehem, a small village near Jerusalem. The prophet Micah had foretold this over 700 years before Jesus was born.
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. (Micah 5:2)
Now the wise men from the east had followed a star that God the Father had placed in the sky to guide them. When they arrived in Jerusalem they went to see King Herod. They asked him where they could find the newly born king so they could go to worship him. This troubled King Herod and made him jealous and mad. He didn’t like the idea of someone else (much less a child) being called a king. He asked the priests and they told him Christ would be born in Bethlehem. Then Herod told the wise men to return after they found the child king and tell him so he could go and worship him also. King Herod was trying to trick the wise men, because he really meant to harm the child.
So the wise men continued to follow the star to Bethlehem until they found the house where the baby Jesus lay. We are not certain how many wise men came. We can guess that maybe at least three came because that is how many gifts they brought. They may have even been kings from other lands in the east (Arabia and Persia) because one of the gifts was gold, which is very expensive.
There is a prophecy in Psalm 72 that says kings from Arabia would bring gifts, in particular the gift of gold, and worship him.
…the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him… to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba… (Psalm 72:10, 11, 15).
(Read Matthew 2:11) The wise men worshipped the baby Jesus as God the Savior and gave him gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts were very meaningful. Gold was fitting for a king. Frankincense was a resin from a balsam tree used as a medicine. This king would heal his people. Myrrh, an herb used in burials, was the most unusual gift in that it pointed to the importance that this child-king’s death would mean later in life.
Christmas is the day we celebrate the birth of Christ our Lord. These wise men came to worship the newborn king. Today, men who are wise still worship Jesus. When you open your presents on Christmas morning this year, remember to pause and thank God for sending us the greatest gift of all: his Son Jesus.
©1998 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.
This article was written by Jim