Three Men and a Baby
INTRO: What if Christ had not come?
ILLUS: A striking Christmas card was once published with the title "If Christ Had Not Come." It was founded upon our Savior's words "If I had not come." The card represented a pastor's falling into a short sleep in his study on Christmas morning and dreaming of a world into which Jesus had never come.
In his dream he found himself looking through his home, but there were no little stockings in the chimney corner, no Christmas bells or wreaths of holly, and no Christ to comfort, gladden and save. He walked out to the street, but there was no church with its spire pointing to Heaven. He came back and sat down in his library, but every book about the Savior had disappeared.
The doorbell rang and a messenger asked the preacher to visit his poor, dying mother. He hastened with the weeping child, and as he reached the home he sat down and said, "I have something here that will comfort you." He opened his Bible to look for a familiar promise, but it ended with Malachi. There was no Gospel and no promise of hope and salvation, and he could only bow his head and weep with her in bitter despair.
Two days later he stood beside her coffin and conducted the funeral service. There was no message of consolation, no hope of heaven. - Source Unknown
How easy it is for all of us to forget just how important this event is! Even for those who don't worship Christ this day would be no different than any others if Christ had not come, for though it is not a spiritual celebration for many it would never have been a day celebrated at all if it hadn't been for Christ's birth!
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that the birth of Christ was God's gift to all, but like all gifts we must receive it in order to enjoy it!
I. WHAT WISE MEN CAN TEACH US! 2:1-8
A. Seekers! 2:1-7
1. The Magi were men of science, not just mystics ...
a. They were highly educated.
b. They were wealthy.
c. They were highly respected in their Gentile culture.
d. They were upper class citizens.
e. They were not particularly prone to faith in Jewish religion being Gentiles.
f. They were reasonable and rational men like men of science today.
g. In this sense they were almost the exact opposites of the Shepherds!
(1. Shepherds were extremely poor.
(2. Shepherds were a despised class in Jesus day, they were not even allowed to testify in a court of law even if they had been an eyewitness to a crime!
(3. They were considered lower class.
(4. They were uneducated as a rule.
(5. The ones mentioned in Luke tended the sacrificial flocks for the Temple, these flocks were kept between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, they were very tied in to the Jewish religion in this way.
2. The Magi were studying the heavens, not necessarily looking for God, but God sends them a message they understood in language they spoke!
3. This really is the essence of God coming as a baby t ...
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