THE WISEMEN’S JOURNEY OF FAITH
Pastor Donn Jibben
Christmas! What can we say about Christmas? As believers, Christmas is a pivotal focus of our faith as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. His birth means “Immanuel, God with us” and it is a time that we truly worship Christ as our Messiah.
Within the Christmas story we read of journey of great faith, a journey of certain men who set out to find the Christ child, to worship him and too give him their best gifts. There is a traditional Christmas song that we all remember singing, “WE Three Kings.” I remember having to sing one of the verses at my elementary schools 4th grade Christmas play. Scripture however doesn’t tell us exactly how many Wiseman there really were that traveled to find the Christ child.
There a few other misconceptions about the Wisemen. One is that they were Kings. This is not the case. The early church father Tertullian stated these words, “the East considered magi almost kings.” He was not stated it as fact. The Wisemen were actually monarchs that had a powerful standing in court that made them almost like kings. Also they did not come from away as the Orient. I think that the East, in the case of the Wisemen could be any country from Arabia to Media and Persia.
The Wisemen (English = Magi) specialized in the study of astrology, medicine and enchantment. Some of them were known as magicians and some even practiced divination and magic. According to Philo of Alexandria there were actually two different groups of “Magi” in the New Testament. One group was known for their extensive research and study into the facts of nature, while the other group was known for their charms and incantations. This group were actually called by some as “creatures and parasites” while they preyed upon people.
So many fell victim to this groups counterfeit science and magic that in 19 AD emperor Tiberius banished all astrologers. However they continued to flourish. We can see that they existed during the beginning years of the N. T Church as we read in Acts 8:9-24. The person mentioned is Simon and he used sorcery and witchcraft to show himself as someone great. When he saw how the Holy Spirit was given when Peter and John laid their hands on new believers he coveted this power and desired to buy it with money.
Also in Acts 13:6-11, the apostle Paul confronts Bar-Jesus, who was possibly a representative and member of the “Magi” in Paphos and rebukes him to his face proclaiming to him that he was “a child of the devil.” This was the ways of the evil group of the “Magi.”
Here in our text however, the Magi mentioned were from the very well respected group of Magi within in their communities and regions. They came seeking the Christ child. AND THEY WERE TRULY ON A JOURNEY OF FAITH. AND THAT IS WHAT I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THIS MORNING. THE WISEMEN’S JOURNEY OF FAITH.
TEXT: MATTHEW 2:1-12
TITLE: THE WISEMEN’S JOURNEY OF FAITH.
Luke records that the birth of Jesus took place during the reign of King Herod the Great. During his reign he became very cruel as a leader. He even became very suspicious of his own family. He actually murdered his favorite wife, her mother and two of her sons. Plus he actually had his eldest son killed as well. One commentary states that he was really a mad –man.
As we look at the JOURNEY OF FAITH BY THE WISEMEN to find the Christ-child we see that they had two sources that helped them along their way and to their destination.
I. A SUPERNATURAL STAR IN THE EAST
II. A SPECIFIC WORD FROM GOD
Let’s look more closely at these sources that greatly helped the Wisemen along their Journey of Faith.
I. A SUPERNATURAL STAR IN THE EAST.
Vs. 2 states “…we have seen a star.” I ask myself this question, what kind of star was it that the wisemen saw? What made it unique from all the others stars? Is it possible it was a manifestation of God’s glory, revealing His light upon His son Jesus? How was it that the star actually moved, guiding the wisemen to the Christ child?
One thing is clear, the star was a supernatural and remarkable phenomenon in the heavens and the sky that guided the magi on their JOURNEY OF FAITH. The star was a supernatural sign to the wisemen that the Christ child had been born and where he could be found. Isn’t it unique to know that God will use supernatural means to guide and lead us into His will. He did so for the wisemen on their JOURNEY OF FAITH to find the messiah. The star was a sign from God, a supernatural sign to lead them along their way.
God cares enough for His people that he will never leave them to themselves, guessing apart from Him which way to go, which way to turn and what decision to make. He desires to lead His children, to guide His children and bring His children into their divine destination. The star in the East was a supernatural sign and light that guided their way.
The wisemen’s journey of faith was guided by a supernatural sign and a remarkable phenomenon, the star, which I am certain shined light a very bright light.
SO WE SEE THAT THE WISEMENS JOURNEY OF FAITH WAS GUIDED BY THE STAR, A SUPERNATURAL SIGN FROM GOD.
SECOND WE ALSO READ IN OUR TEXT THAT GOD’S WORD GUIDED THE WISEMEN ON THEIR JOURNEY OF FAITH. THAT IS POINT 2 THIS MORNING.
II. THE WORD OF GOD.
Along their journey the wisemen also stopped in Jerusalem and asked (Vs. 2) “where is he born King of the Jews?” Upon hearing the news that the possibility of another soon to be king and leader was just born, Herod became very distressed.
Vs. 3-6. So in light of the news, he calls for the chief priests and teachers of the law and asks them the same question, “where the Christ-child was to be born?” They replied, “In Bethlehem in Judea..for this is what the prophet has written.” ‘but you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.” These were words of by the prophet Micah spoken centuries earlier, (Micah 5:2).
It is very unique to me to see that even a wicked king like Herod would put his faith in God’s Word for his answer and for guidance. King Herod actually believed that God’s Word could be trusted and that it was reliable as objective truth and fact. AMAZING TO ME!!
This resulted in the wicked King summoning the magi and sending them to Bethlehem as to find the Christ child so he could destroy him. The wisemen went on their way and eventually they found the Christ in a house with his mother Mary all because they were guided by supernatural means, the star in the East and the Word of God. They presented their gifts to him and bowed down and worshipped him.
THIS WAS INDEED A JOURNEY OF FAITH!
How does the story of the wisemen’s journey of faith affect our personal lives? Each of us our on our very own journey of faith! And as believers we are all on our journey of faith with the Messiah. Just as the wisemen we too need supernatural means to guide us along the way. God in His goodness not only wants to guide us, He has given us supernatural means to do so, so we can achieve His will and arrive at our divine destination.
Our Journey too is one of faith. The faith of the wisemen we know had to have pleased God. When we demonstrate faith with actions it also pleases God.
Heb 11:6 “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”
James 2:26 “…faith without works is dead.”
This morning I have three elements of truth that God has given to each of us as believer’s to guide us along our personal journey of faith with the Messiah.
They are these:
A. His Promised Holy Spirit
B. His Promised Anointing
C. His Inspired Word
A. HIS PROMISED HOLY SPIRIT.
Read 2 Cor. 1:18-22.
God has given every believer the Holy Spirit. Paul speaking to the Cor. Believers about the promises of God in Christ are “YES”! One of those promises is the God has anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit. This promise is “YES and AMEN” (Cf. 5:5)
Eph. 1:13-14 states this same truth. With His Holy Spirit in our hearts we are guided into God’s truth and into His ways. God the Holy Spirit guides us into His LIGHT so our journey of faith with be a journey that walks with the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
John 16:12-15 states this: “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth comes he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only whe he hears and he will tell you what is to come. He will bring glory to me by taking what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That’s is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”
On our personal JOURNEY OF FAITH the Holy Spirit that is deposited within us, will testify to us of Jesus Christ and will guide us into all truth. * And so we see that the first supernatural element of truth that we have to guide us along our journey of faith is God’s Promised Holy Spirit *
GOD’S PROMISED HOLY SPIRIT IS ALSO GOD’S PROMISED ANOINTING AND THAT IS THE 2ND ELEMENT OF TRUTH WE HAVE TO GUIDE US ALONG OUR JOURNEY OF FAITH.
B. HIS PROMISED ANOINTING.
Turn with me to I JOHN 2:18-25. Read Text
Vs. 26, “I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as the anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it taught you, remain in him.”
Again this text tells us that God has given every believer the supernatural anointing of His Holy Spirit to guide us along our personal journey of faith with the Messiah. His supernatural anointing also protects us from the enemy’s lies and deception, from the anti-christ spirit that is alive in our world today. God’s supernatural anointing that teaches us however does not negate God’s gifts of teachers that he has gifted and placed within His body to also teach us and bring us into maturity so we can be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
SO TWO OF GOD’S SUPERNATURAL ELEMENTS OF TRUTH THAT HE HAS GIVEN EVERY BELIEVER TO GUIDE THEM ALONG THEM ALONG THEIR JOURNEY OF FAITH IS HIS PROMISED HOLY SPIRIT AND HIS PROMISED ANOINTING.
LAST, GOD HAS GIVEN US HIS INSPIRED WORD.
C. HIS INSPIRED WORD.
What can I say about God’s precious Word that we probably haven’t heard before? But as a reminder God’s Inspired Word is God’s love letter to us! His Inspired Word is historical objective relevant true truth that needs to have a special place in all of our hearts. If we think we can walk our Journey of Faith with the Messiah without God’s Inspired Word in our hearts and lives we are sadly mistaken! God’s Inspired Word is so foundational to our JOURNEY OF FAITH!
John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God from the beginning.”
Vs. 14 “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. WE have seen his glory and the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father full of grace and truth.”
Ps. 119:105 “Your Word is lamp unto my feet and alight unto my pathway.”
2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…”
Isaiah 40:7 “The grass withers the flowers fall but the Word of God stands forever.”
Friends I cannot emphasize enough this morning the importance that the Inspired Word of God needs to have in our hearts and lives along our JOURNEY OF FAITH WITH OUR MESSIAH! Our foundation must be built upon Jesus Christ the living Word!
Our journey of faith will always be filled with challenges along the way. We have all probably all experienced them in our lives, some maybe far more challenging than others. But one thing is certain, God in His love for us has given us supernatural elements of truth that will guide us on our JOURNEY OF FAITH WITH THE MESSIAH AND THAT WILL BRING US TO OUR DIVINE DESTINATION.
THE WISEMEN WERE GUIDED BY GOD’S SUPERNATURAL MEANS, THE STAR IN THE EAST AND HIS WORD. GOD HAS GIVEN US HIS PROMISED HOLY SPIRIT, HIS PROMISED ANOINTING AND HIS INSPIRED WORD.
OUR JOURNEY OF FAITH IS NOT MEANT TO BE A STEP AND JOURNEY INTO THE DARK BUT A JOURNEY, STEP AND WALK INTO THE LIGHT THAT GOD HAS SO GRACIOUSLY GIVEN US.
ARE YOU NEEDING GUIDANCE TODAY?
ARE YOU NEEDNG DIRECTION TODAY?
ARE YOU FACE WITH A MAJOR DECISION THAT YOU HAVE TO MAKE?
TRUST THE SUPERNATURAL PROMISED HOLY SPIRIT, THE PROMISED ANOINTING AND THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD THAT GOD HAS GIVEN YOU TO GUIDE YOU.
LET US PRAY.
In Christ’s love
Pastor donn jibben