Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
No one who has ever been born has ever done more to impact humanity than Jesus Christ. No one has ever been hated more nor loved more than Jesus Christ.
No one human has ever had their life put under a microscope more than Jesus Christ. No one has ever promised that they could do more than Jesus Christ. And no one has ever demonstrated the power that Christ demonstrated. He has been spurned by billions of people down through history, and others have given their lives, their fortunes, their families, and their bodies to his name. We have heard the saying around this time of year that “wise men still seek him.”
I. When Men Came To Visit Him. 2:1-12
The little town of Bethlehem of Judea is located just five miles south of Jerusalem. Micah prophesied in Mic.5:2 that Jesus Christ would be born there. The town’s name means the house or place of bread. How appropriate that the Bread of Life would be born in a town which means the place of bread. It was such an insignificant, obscure village town that it is not mentioned in Joshua 15:21-62 where he list hundreds of cities of Judah.
However, it is seen in Gen.35:19 as the place where Rachael, Jacob’s wife died and was buried.
Micah foretold in the eighth century B.C. that this child, the one he says in Mic.5:1 whose cheek would be smitten with a rod, this future judge of Israel would be born in Bethlehem.
Matt.26:67; 27:30 tells of Christ being smitten as foretold by Micah.
This promised coming ruler of Israel as told by Micah the prophet is one whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. This is Jesus Christ folks. He is an eternal being, and only God as you know is eternal.
This same Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea.
Luke tells us Lk.2:1-5 that Joseph and Mary had a hard time finding a place to stay for the night. They had to come into Joseph and Mary’s town of lineage, also known as the City of David, to be registered along with many others for the purpose of taxation. Bethlehem, though very small, was full of traveling people and every space was taken up. Joseph and Mary had traveled some sixty five miles south from the northern town of Nazareth, a town located near the present day northern city of Haifa.
With no where to stay they took refuge in a small stable, some have thought it was more like a cave than a barn where animals would be kept from harm and the elements. So it was in this cave/stable that the son of God was born.
He was born during the days of Herod, the king. Herod the Great as he became known was an appointed king; appointed by Mark Anthony. Herod was of Arab descent on both sides of his family, yet he was historically seen as a practicing Jew.
He was hated by the Jews because he was seen as a foreigner in their city, and he was also hated because he served the Roman government.
And now the Christ child has been born not more than six miles from Jerusalem, a town that had become Herod’s seat of administration.
Wise men from the east came to Jerusalem. The Greek word for wise men is magoi, magi.
What is a magi?
A magi was a sage of sorts who practiced various methods of ascertaining truth. The magi of Matt.2:1, 7 most likely were astronomers from Persia or the Far East. Now astronomy is fine, but astrology is not. The magi studied the stars in search of answers. They only read of the coming Messiah, and it is quite possible they heard of this birth by word of mouth for it is told in Lk.2:17 that after the shepherds had heard the angelic announcement and after they visited the Christ child that they made known abroad the news concerning the birth of Jesus Christ. We do not know how many magi there were. We know they brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but this does not restrict them to just three men. Perhaps they read Ps.68:29, 31 and Ps.72:10-11 where it is said Kings would come and offer God’s son gifts and show him homage. Of course these passages are millennial kingdom in context, but those wise men probably didn’t know that.
Note also that the wise men did not go to Bethlehem as the Micah 5:2 prophecy gives, but instead they went to Jerusalem, probably supposing such an anticipated King of the Jews would be born in a place of prominence and religious activity.
When arriving they asked...
“Where is he that is born King of the Jews?” They asked this question in connection to the star to which they had been drawn. They traveled all this way, some say from two months to twenty months. They were either from the Babylonian region, or perhaps as far away as the Orient. They came to pay homage, and yet Jesus Christ own countrymen sought to harm him. As A. T. Robertson, the great twentieth century Greek scholar says, “Homage from afar, hostility at home.”
This was no ordinary King; this king was prophesied to be more than a man among men. He would be God among men.
Isa.9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The prince of Peace.”