Saturday, January 04, 2014

Some ways of preaching The Epihphany / Wise Men / Matthew 2:1-12:

Re-hashing some stuff from here, here are some ways one might preach on the wise men:

The wise men as examples of seriousness and effort in seeking Christ. Wise men sought Jesus: they still do.
How much easier it is for us!
We (and Herod) have the Scriptures, whereas the wise men had to depend on the star
We (and Herod) don’t have to make a long, expensive, dangerous journey.
The wise men models of courage and commitment: willing to risk the wrath of Herod for the sake of Christ. They choose to obey the true King of Kings.

The wise men as modelling response to Jesus: joy (v10), worship (v2, v11), giving (v11).
What would we give to Jesus?
Would our giving to Jesus show an understanding of who he is.
(Jesus as the ultimate Christmas present. He is first of all God’s great gift to the world. Our giving is a grateful response to the gift of Him).
The wise me obviously recognise Jesus as more than an ordinary future king. They didn’t make this kind of journey to the cradle of every crown prince!

The wise men contrasted with the wicked selfish lying manipulative Herod – they seek Jesus to worship him, Herod seeks Jesus to kill him
Sinful human nature hates God’s King and wants to rule independently. When God comes to earth, people try to kill him. The shadow of the cross.
How will we respond to Jesus?
Will we accept Jesus as our king?

A passage not about 3 kings (necessarily) but about 2 kings: Herod and Jesus
Contrast Herod and Jesus: Herod kills his people, Jesus will die for his people
Herod a selfish king, Jesus a servant king
Jesus the true king a dominant theme of the passage (stars for rulers, v2, v6)
Herod the king ought to bow the knee to king Jesus.

The wise men as representatives of the nations who will come to Christ. Jesus is of cosmic, global significance.

The significance of Jesus as a new and better Moses (another baby who was persecuted by an evil king but saved by God to be the ruler and rescuer of this people). The mention of Egypt reminds us of Moses and the Exodus.

Jesus as a new and better Solomon (Song of Songs 3), a royal bridegroom – the ultimate wise king – great King David’s greater Son, the Messiah, to whom the kings of the nations (like the Queen of Sheba and the wise men will bring gold and spices).

The first Christmas presents and their significance
Gifts fit for a king
Gold, for a king
Frankincense for a priest
Myrrh speaking of death – the worst Christmas present ever?!

Exodus 30 – Gold (v3, v5), Frankincense (v34) & Myrrh (v22) as fitting for the presence of God – Jesus the new and better tabernacle / temple, the place of atonement (Ex 30v10)? Myrrh used here in anointing to consecrate. Jesus is the Holy Anointed One. He is a priest (v30).

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