The Weekend Word
4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
- Almost like when Nebuchadnezzar gathered his magicians etc and said interpret my dream.
- But doesn’t his request seem off – why would Herod even believe there was a Christ to come and that he would be a locally born Christ at that?
- You just know Herod that knew that this was more than a human king, he made the connection in his mind.
- Compare Herod’s reaction to that of the Wise Men. One decides to worship the other decides to murder.
- In a church service, 2 people sit side by side and hear the same message day after day – One believes and the other does not. Why???
- The other characters – the Chief Priests – Scribes
- We will describe them at another time are we run into them.
- The short version is that they are the politicians and the theologians.
- It’s amazing to me that Herod asked this question not because he wanted to really know where Christ would be born in order that he might take the knowledge of that truth and apply it properly, but that he might know it to use it for his own ends
- Some people are surprised, but not me, at how many people seek certain information from the Bible to be used for their own ends rather than to be used in the way God has designed it.
- Herod inquired of God’s word to use it in a manner sinfully, against the will of God. You don’t mess with the Bible this way..
5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
- They probably found it pretty quickly, even without Google – Micah 5:2
- Now, the question of the skeptics is “didn’t these writers just place Jesus in to this prophecy? From this Hugh Schonfeld wrote The Passover Plot.
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared.
- The first meeting was public, but this meeting’s going be secret because Herod has a plan. But had to be subtle.
- Notice that he did not ask how old is the child? But he said, when did the star appear?
- Tell me about that star, you guys are big on stars, tell me about that, when did that appear? Is he playing on their interest in astrology? Astronomy?
- It is interesting that the star is not now visible at all, they saw it in the east it disappeared and they left and came to Jerusalem they haven’t seen it since.
- Who saw the star? Was it visible to the people in Jerusalem? Was it on the Jerusalem Eyewitness newscast?
- Faith is the missing ingredient to go with proof & evidence
- Herod called the chief priest and scribes and says “what’s going on here?”
- They show him the scriptural evidence of the present events, but he does not have the ‘eyes of faith’ – he has the evidence, he has seen the proof and it blows right by him – it just does not register.
- So Herod calls back in the wise men / magi.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”
- I don’t think Herod was being genuine here.
- You could almost hear the hiss of the serpent (Satan) – now being played by Herod.
- This is not much different than those described in 1 John as antichrist – that even down to today, different people assume the role of antichrist – so in his day, the role of the serpent fell to Herod.
- Here is that cosmic battle played out in the first century. You need to understand the role of Herod in this Plan of Salvation
- Herod was an Edomite – the founder of the Edomites was Esau – the twin brother of Jacob (Israel). The Edomites are the forefathers of the Arab nations.
- Each ended up with a people – and Edom has been at constant strife with God’s people – constant attacks against the line of the seed.
- And here we now have Herod, playing his role like an Oscar winning actor – trying to destroy the seed himself.
9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.
- The star again? Are they the only one’s seeing it?
- Now we are talking about being guided by the star. Earlier – the star was a sign – GO!
- Herod could have had his spies follow them – perhaps he did.
- “came to rest” – we are talking about a celestial GPS system.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
- I think when they saw the star again; it confirmed that they were on a mission for God and not crazy guys.
- Now they have seen God’s sign in the sky and they have received the Word of God in Micah 5.
11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
- Why would they bow down and worship a baby? Is this God worship or is it just the reverence you pay when coming in contact with a king?
- What kind of faith did they have?
- The gifts, what do they mean?
- Gold = Jesus’ Royalty
- Frankincense = Jesus’ Deity
- Myrrh = Jesus’ Humanity, Suffering & Death
12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
- Was it a dream that brought them to Jerusalem in the first place? Was it a dream that said “look for the star?
- What does this mean? Who was the source of the dream?
- Did all the wise men get the dream or just the leader?