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*What gift will you bring to the King?*
So what’s on your Christmas list?
A new car, a new tie, a new boyfriend?
Last December that question was asked to several celebrities.[i]
Here are two – Hulk Hogan & Susan Boyle.
*Hulk Hogan answered,** #1:* *Thirty years of life!  */I want my youth back.
I wouldn't change anything, though.
I'd wrestle all over again/.
*#2:*  *A* *747 jet!* /I would like my own private jet plane again.
I'd take all the wrestlers with me on the plane.
I don't just want a little Learjet, I want a 747.
That would be a wild plane./
*#3:*  *Knee surgery!  */I've had eight back surgeries, knee replacements, and both hip replacements.
I only need one more surgery – to fix my right knee.
I want to be 59 years old and be the champion.
/*#4:*  *Hair!  */I want a full head of hair!/  *Susan Boyle said* *My Christmas List?**  **#1:*  An *Electric keyboard!
*/I have a baby grand in my posh house.
I'd like a smaller keyboard so I can keep up with my practice./
*#2:  *Two kittens - one black & one white!
**/Cats are better company than a man as they can't answer back!/  *#3:*  *A Porsche convertible and driving lessons.
*/I could see myself driving around in a sporty number with the roof down!/
So once again I ask, what’s on your Christmas list?
Does your list include hair, surgery, kittens or a Porsche?  *May I make a suggestion?
Ask for something practical!*
Today I begin a three week Christmas series called, /“What gift will you bring to the King?” / *Open up your Bibles to Matthew 2!  Do you need a Bible?* * **(Connect card) * For the past twelve weeks we’ve been reading The Story which of course is the Bible!  /This is your story!
This is my story!
Most of all – this is God’s story!/
Since its December on the calendar I’m going to move ahead in The Story and on January 11 & 12 we will pick up chapter 13 with the life of Solomon!  *Speaking of December locate the CE invitation card on your chair.*
We will once again have three services on Christmas Eve but the times have changed.
We are doing 3:00PM, 4:30PM and 6:00P.M.  Please come and bring someone with you!  *Find verse 1 in Matthew 2.  *Matthew tells us about Jesus through Joseph.
Luke tells us about Jesus through Mary.
*The Bible is made of people places and events.
We encounter all three in Matthew chapter 2.  **(1)** After Jesus was born in Bethlehem…*/ Bethlehem is where Jacob buries Rachel and Ruth meets Boaz.
Bethlehem is the hometown of both David and Jesus.
Bethlehem is 6 miles south of Jerusalem.*[ii]*/
(*1) ** After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem* /King Herod is Herod the Great.
/What made him great were his grand building projects.
His most famous building project was the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.[iii]
*Do you recognize these lyrics?*
/We three kings of Orient are ~/ Bearing gifts we traverse afar.
/  The Bible does not call the Magi kings.
Historians did.
To be a bit more accurate the Magi were “wise men.”
After all they stopped for directions.
They were scholars who studied dreams, astrology, magic[iv] and Jewish teaching.
And as they studied Jewish teaching they became convinced a new king was on the horizon.
*Let’s read verses 2-6.*
Verse 6 is Jewish prophecy.
It’s a combination of Micah 5:2 and 2 Samuel 5:2.
What king born in Bethlehem will shepherd the Israelites with integrity?
But who also will be born in Bethlehem and will become the King of ALL kings!
The Magi are looking for this new King!  *Go back to verse 7.  (Read 7-8)*  *May I make three observations?
#1:  King Herod is a big fat liar!*
He does not want to worship this new King of the Jews.
He wants to kill him!
*Let me show you a really cool book.
*It’s called the Big Book of History.
It’s a book but more than that it’s a timeline of history.
Bible history and world history!
I need help.
Let me unfold this.
*Right here it says that King HEROD will die in 4BC.*[v]* * That’s this King Herod.
He’ll die because he’s sick.
*Ray Vander Laan said*, /“Herod had gangrene, severe itching, convulsions and ulcers.
His feet were covered with tumors and he had constant fevers.”*[vi]*//
/Herod’s going to die and he knows it.
But despite how bad he feels he ruthlessly protects his throne.
He murdered his favorite wife and two sons.
He wanted no succession.
Not his sons and certainly not this Jewish child.
*Observation should lead to application!*
May I ask, do you think this world revolves around you?  Incessant picture taking can lead children to think that they are the center of the world.
Herod did and people despised him!
The Story of God is that He loves us!
He made us!  We’re here for Him!  *Observation #2!*  The Jews or the insiders should have been looking for Jesus the Messiah but were not.
The gentiles, the Magi or the outsiders should not have been looking for Jesus the Messiah but were.
Matthew wants us to know salvation is for everyone but especially for anyone who thinks they are far away from God!  *Observation leads to application!
You are not too far away from God!**  The reason God sent his son was not to condemn you but to save you!
I am an imperfect person trying to be like Jesus every day!
Go to Matthew 2:9!  /Where the child was.
/*Matthew chapter 1 is about Jesus as a baby.
Matthew chapter 2 is about Jesus as a child.
Verse 16 tells us Jesus is around 2!  Do you think Jesus went through the terrible two’s?
He’s a holy terrorJ *Back to verse 10.  Read 10-11.*
*Now what did this scene look like?*
The Bible says something like this?
They fell down – that’s what it means to bow!
This is an act of reverence.
Then they worshipped Jesus.
Where are the Magi from?
The Bible says “from the east”[vii] - most likely Persia.
They /“fall upon their knees and touch the ground with their foreheads as an expression of profound reverence.”*[viii]*/
Worship is much more than sitting in a chair and singing songs!
Worship is active, aerobic like.
Worship is an act of reverence!
It’s a humbling place to be!  *Verse 11 tells us they give Jesus three gifts*!
What are the gifts?
Gold, frankincense and myrrh!
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