Pennsville Baptist Church
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  • Pennsville Baptist Church
    3298 Richey Rd, Mt Pleasant, PA 15666, USA
    Sunday 9:45 AM
Matthew 2:1-12
Steps To Jesus

Introduction
1. Forget the Christmas cards (3 kings) coming to the manger. Herod the Great wanted to know
when the wise men first saw the star. From their information he began to kill all the baby boys
around Bethlehem two years of age and under. These wisemen were Gentiles not Jews.
2. How does one find Jesus? Have you found Jesus? I believe there are steps involved in finding Jesus.
3. Matthew 2:1-12 we are going to trace the steps that led the wise men to Jesus.

Have you found Jesus Christ? STEPS:
I. PREPARATION 2:1
Herod the Great was now in his early 70’s. Julius Caesar had appointed his father (Antipater)
to be governor of Judea. Antipater then managed to have his son, Herod appointed prefect of
Galilee. In 40 B.C. Herod went to Rome and declared by Octavian and Anthony (with
approval by the Roman senate) to be King of the Jews. He invaded Palestine and drove out
the Parthians and established his kingdom. Herod was not a Jew but married Mariamne, a Jewess, to
make himself more acceptable. He was a clever, capable diplomat. In times of economic hardship he
gave back tax money. In 25 B.C. during the great famine he melted down various gold objects around
the palace to feed the poor. In 19 B.C. he built the port city of Caesarea. He built the Masada where in
73 A.D., nearly 1000 Jewish defenders committed suicide rather than be captured by Flavius Silvas.
He built theaters, race track, and structures to provide entertainment. He was cruel. He was incredibly
jealous. He had Aristobulus (high priest and brother-in-law) drowned. He had his wife Mariamne
killed…then her mother and two of his own sons. Five days before his death in 4 B.C. he had a third
son executed. Due to his insane cruelty he had most of the prominent citizens of Jerusalem imprisoned
shortly before his death. The orders were given that all those prisoners should be executed at his death.
At least someone would be mourning at his death! Since Herod the Great died in 4 B.C. this would
mean that Jesus was born around 6 B.C. Jesus was born in the darkest hour! Business was as
usual…then Jesus came!
A.Investigation Behold Stop! Look! Listen!
There came magi (wise men) from the East.
1.Magi These were astronomers, scientists of that day. We don’t know their number, names or mode of transportation.
*We learn from the book of Daniel that the magi were among the highest ranking officials in Babylon (Dan. 2:2, 13) These were the most intelligent and the most informed of anyone in the East.
*These were watching the heavens, not to find Jesus, but as their occupation. It was business as usual, but God was preparing them.
2. From the East These were astronomers who came from the East.
*Gentiles intermarried with Jews during the Babylonian Captivity and beyond.
*They had to be in the East to receive God’s initial message. No other place would
do.
B.Inquiry Where is He that is born King of the Jews?
1.How would they know? This is the first time that Jesus is called, King of the Jews.
2.During the Babylonian Captivity Daniel would have imparted Biblical information. He was over all the wisemen. (Daniel 2:48) If it were not for the Babylonian Captivity the wisemen would never have gotten to Jesus.
3.It is a well-known fact that throughout the East there was a universal expectancy of a coming king and Jerusalem was connected with this history. The Roman historian Suetonius, speaking around the birth of Christ: There had spread over all the Orient an old and established belief that it was fated at that time for men coming from Judea to rule the world. Another Roman historian, Tacitus, wrote: There was firm persuasion that at this very time the east was to grow powerful and rulers coming from Judea were to acquire a universal empire. The Jewish historian reports in his Jewish Wars that at the time of Christ’s birth the Jews believed that one from their country would soon become ruler of the habitable earth. There was a growing feeling that from somewhere a great and unprecedented world leader was about to rise.
4.The prophet Baalam had given a prophecy to the elders of Moab and Median (Num. 24:17) A star shall come out of Jacob (that’s Israel) and a scepter shall rise out of Israel. The star and scepter go together. Due to the Babylonian Captivity these magi out of the East had that prophecy, so they came seeking a king. A revelation was needed.
C.Instigation For we have seen His star (the star of the One born king of the Jews) in the east (while we were in the East)…It was really a western star!
1.Star is any great brilliance or radiance. It cannot be a constellation or uniting of planets (Jupiter/Saturn). It was a UFO type (v.9) They didn’t follow the Star from the East to Jerusalem only from Jerusalem to Bethlehem (5 or 6 miles).
2.There are many explanations: It may have been the glory of the Lord…the same as shone around the shepherds. Throughout the Old Testament God’s glory was manifested by light. Some say it was visible only to those intended.
3.God was preparing these men to find the king! Before any person finds Christ there is preparation. You are not thinking about Christ…THEN…circumstances, people, a small light began to shine, curiosity…small things: “We need to go to church” as if ‘church’ is the answer.

II. PARTICIPATION 2:1, 2
A.The Saying
1.Saying is a present participle which means a continuous action.
2.They went around the city questioning whomever they met. They apparently assumed that everyone in Jerusalem would have known.
B.The Search
1.Where is He? We are come to worship Him (Participation)
2.These were Gentile believers. Hearts are prepared. Here is a desire to know more…a willingness to search…a heart that is open!
3.There comes a desire to know, to search, to struggle, to stop…and start…there is a willing heart to bow before Him.
4.If you hunger a thirst after righteousness, you will be filled. Are you sick of sin? Do you have a desire to be right with God? Is your life empty and meaningless?

III. PRESENTATION 2:6, 8
A.God’s Word
1.Herod call the Sanhedrin (70 men…the Supreme Court of Jerusalem) v. 6
2.They go to God’s Word (Micah 5:2) Bethlehem They sent them to Bethlehem.
B.God’s Weariness
1.The world was looking for a King. These seemed to show no special interest in the announcement.
2.Those who should have cared didn’t!
C.God’s Way
1.Preparation…Participation leads them to God’s Word.
2.Without God’s Word you will never find Jesus Christ. In the Word we find ‘Good News”.
3.In order to find Jesus Christ someone must tell you.

IV. PERCEPTION 2:9, 10
Only the eyes of the wise men could see. Centuries before the glory stood over the
Tabernacle. Now the glory stood over Jesus!
A.They Saw
1.They started from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. A low flying star appears.
2.It leads them to the very ‘house’ not stable where Jesus was.
3.The Star was a definite sign…That’s a miracle!!
B.They Shouted 10 Joy…they found the King!
1.In salvation…more light is given. The Holy Spirit takes God’s Word and points you directly to Jesus Christ.
2.You get off the throne: I found the King! Joy…what Joy!

V. PRACTICE 2:11, 12
After finding the King:
A.They Worshipped Him
B.They Served Him (gold, frankincense, myrrh)
C.They Obey Him v. 12
So these should characterize each of us.

WE CAN STOP THE WORKING OF GOD AT ANY STEP!
Some were so close, but they never found the King!

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