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EXPLANATION: I love the story in Matthew chapter 2
For years I’ve grown up hearing the story of the 3 wise men who came seeking the baby, Jesus
While neither of those things are probably true, there is just something sentimental about the wise men being at the manger side.
But to simply focus on the wise men is to miss a large part of this chapter.
In fact, it is to miss some of the main players in the wise men reaching the place where Jesus was.
You see, we can’t look at the reaction of the wise men to the birth of Christ without seeing the reaction of the world to the birth of Christ!


Matthew 2:3 KJV 1900
3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
EXPLANATION: Herod the Great was appointed to power over Isreal by Rome in 37 BC.
Because of his appointment by Rome, he was a willing politician to bridge the gaps between the Romans and the Jews.
This included putting oppressive taxes and forced labor on the Israelites.
As he grew older, he became increasingly paranoid about threats against himself and his throne.
He had numerous sons, wives, and other once close friends put to death because he feared they were planning to overthrow him.
And on this day in Matthew 2, his fears had risen to new levels as he now has a group of wise men standing before him proclaiming that there was a new king.
Their words in v.2 cut straight to Herod’s heart as they said they were searching for the One Who was “Born” King of the Jews… Rather than appointed as Herod had been.
Herod was distraught over news of a “new King”
He was afraid to lose control of his kingdom.
APPLICATION: People will fight to remain the king of their kingdom.
ILLUSTRATION: It was King Saul’s greatest fear.
You remember when David defeated Goliath and stood before Saul, he was furious because the crowds were singing of how Saul had slain thousands and David tens of thousands.
He was so insecure that the people would stop following him and start following Davis that for years of his life he spent chasing David around trying to kill him.
APPLICATION: We all want to be in control of our lives.
We want things to go according to plan… our plan.
As long as everything goes according to our plan, things are good.
ILLUSTRATION: When I was in high school I thrived on my schedule.
I would wake up at 6:45
6:45-7:05 Get ready
7:05-7:20 Eat
7:20-7:40 Read my Bible
7:40-7:45 Head out to my car
7:45-7:55 Drive to school
8:00 head to class.
But everything would be turned upside down if I overslept!
Everything was good when I was in control
APPLICATION: But the answer to Who is the king of your life comes when things get out of your control, do you lose control?
When the party doesn’t go the way you planned.
When someone calls off of work.
When something unplanned comes up
Does it ruin your whole day?
When things are out of your control, does it cause you to lose control?
It might just point to the reality that you think you are the king of your kingdom.
Don’t forget if you have accepted Christ as your Savior 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 KJV 1900
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Friend, you are not to be the king of your life… you are supposed to be a servant to the King with your life!
And sometimes the King changes the plans.
I love how Paul wrote it in Colossians 3:4
Colossians 3:4 KJV 1900
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Christ shouldn’t just be the Lord of your Sunday between 10:30-11:30, He should be your life!
Colossians 1:18 KJV 1900
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
The preeminence of Christ should be the theme of your life.
But often we make ourself the king of our life.
Herod was troubled because there was a new king on the throne.


Matthew 2:4–6 KJV 1900
4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Beth-lehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Beth-lehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
EXPLANATION: After hearing the distressing news of a new King, Herod gathers his priests and scribes to find out just what the wise men are talking about.
What happens next is stunning.
The priests and scribes know exactly where the prophesied Christ was to be born.
The quote in v.6 from Micah 5:2
Micah 5:2 KJV 1900
2 But thou, Beth-lehem 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.
They conveniently leave out the last part of the verse… the part that points to the eternality of the one being born.
Because if they acknowledged that part, they would have to surrender to who it was that was being born!
The true King!
So instead of doing that… they just ignored it.
One of the most mind blowing things about this whole story is that the religious crowd that knew all about the coming Messiah, chose to ignore that He had come.
They didn’t even go to Bethlehem themselves to check.
ILLUSTRATION: If you even thought something like that might be true, you’d have to go check it out.
When I caught the “10 lb” bass
They came over to see if it “might” be true.
EXPLANATION: The priests and scribes couldn’t even be troubled to see if it might be the Messiah.
Instead they just ignored His birth.
They were as close to the Truth as you could come… and they chose to ignore Christ’s birth.
APPLICATION: I wonder how often we as Christians choose to ignore truths that are right in front of us in the Scriptures.
If you have decided to make yourself the king of your life, it’s real easy to pick and choose what parts of the truth you will accept and which parts you will ignore.
Some ignore the truths about salvation
You may have been coming the church for years, but you have chosen to ignore what God’s Word says about eternity!
Romans 3:10 KJV 1900
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Romans 3:23 KJV 1900
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
That means you can’t do it on your own!
Romans 5:8 KJV 1900
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
You can choose to ignore the truth that Jesus came and was born so that He could die on the cross to pay for your sins… but it won’t get you any closer to heaven!
Some just choose to ignore the truths from the Scriptures.
But can I tell you, whether you accept them or not… they are still true
Whether you act on them or not, they are still true
Whether you show up to service to hear them
Whether you pick of this book during the week and read them
They are still true!
Whether you respond to the Word of God at the end of a message or not… it is still true!
Friend can I encourage you, that when the Truth of God comes don’t just ignore it the Scribes and the priests, but seek after it!
Those religious servants of Herod could have been laying gifts at the feet of Jesus with the wise men… but instead they chose to ignore His birth.
Upon hearing the troubling news of the promised Messiah, Herod’s religious leaders chose to ignore it… but Herod in his paranoia could never ignore such a thing...


Matthew 2:7–8 KJV 1900
7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Beth-lehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
EXPLANATION: At first he tried to lure the wise men into finding the location of Jesus and His parents.
In an ironic twist, God used the words of the wicked Herod to lead the wise men to the place of Jesus’ birth.
Don’t think for a second God isn’t powerful enough to use the wicked men in power to further His plan!
God was never out of control at the birth of Christ and He isn’t out of control today.
But when Herod realizes he’s been outplayed by God Himself, because He warned the wise men not to return the way they came, Herod goes into a frenzy.
Matthew 2:16 KJV 1900
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Beth-lehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
He orders for the death of all the children two years old and under.
In fulfillment of a prophecy form Jeremiah 31:15, one of the most horrifying executions in all of history is carried out.
When Pharoah gave the order in Exodus 1 to kill the children it was reserved for the male children only.
But when Herod gave his command, no child regardless of gender was left safe.
The fear of another king being born that could take his throne revealed the vast wickedness in the heart of this man.
And he was willing to go to any lengths to destroy the birth of Christ.
But he failed.
Because Jesus was born and Mary and Joseph fled before Herod’s rage could reach them.
And Jesus would live 33 1/2 years on this earth.
Here is what is interesting, while Matthew’s Gospel specifically points to Christ as King, He never sought any earthly accolades.
While Herod feared a rival to his throne, Jesus sought no such authority.
Never did Christ attempt to overthrow the throne in Jerusalem.
Never did Christ try to overwhelm the Roman authorities.
Never, in all of His miracles and followers, did Christ try to ascend to an earthly position of authority.
In fact, there were only two days in which Jesus was called the “King of the Jews”, and both were from the mouth of someone else.
When the wise men were searching for Him and stood before Pharoah was the first time.
The second time was on the day of His death.
Matthew 27:11 KJV 1900
11 And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.
It was the accusation that was nailed above His head as He hung on the cross Matthew 27:37
Matthew 27:37 KJV 1900
37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
But Jesus never sought an earthly throne… They had it all wrong
Yes He is indeed the King of the Jews, but don’t let the world define what that means.
For the thrones of man were far to small for Jesus!
The halls of power could not contain the majesty of King Jesus.
No, King Jesus came to earth and was laid in a humble manger, but His entrance was announced by the chorus of angels!
He was born in a stable, but the entire sky was rearranged to point to the one Who was the true King
His beginning was of humble nature, but the gifts that were presented to Him announced His royalty.
Yes Jesus is King.
And it wont be the final time that He is called king.
In Revelation 19:11-16
Revelation 19:11–16 KJV 1900
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
Until the end of time, the devil and the world will reject Jesus and try to destroy his name, but I’ve got great news… I’ve looked at the end of the book and Jesus wins!
He was and is and always will be the King!
APPLICATION: Friend, we cannot expects a lost and dying world to make Jesus King.
You can mark it down the world is going to act like the world!
It will belittle what this time of the year is really all about.
It will encourage things that are often good things… but they will come at the expense of that which is best!
They will point to the trees, and the lights, and the gifts, and the parties… all things that I love
But they will ignore the One Who truly matters!
But that doesn’t make Jesus any less King today.
He is still on the throne!
And it’s still all about Him!


What you have to decide is if you are going to allow Him be the King of your life?
Will you choose to pursue the Truths in this Book, or will you choose to ignore them?
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