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A Journey to Jesus (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
December 26, 2020 3:00 am

A Journey to Jesus (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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December 26, 2020 3:00 am

Nativity scenes often include at least one camel and three kings bearing gifts. But the Bible doesn’t place them at the manger! Listen to Truth For Life as Alistair Begg takes a closer look at these wise men whose travels ultimately led to Jesus.


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The nativity scenes in our homes at Christmas would not become have at least one camel and a wise man or two. But what we know about these travelers who went to great lengths to find the king of the Jews today on Truth for Life weekend Alastair big makes three observations about the ones who set out on a journey to Jesus. I want to consider with you what I'm going to refer to as an unexplained compulsion and then an unexpected destination and then what we might refer to as an unrestrained reaction and unexplained compulsion were not told what compelled these individuals to make the journey at that they did. And so it is it is difficult for us to say just exactly what it was that move them and drove them in terms of internal conviction and compulsion what we do know is what we are told and that is that they had a fascination with the cosmos as such was their background and their setting and their interest in this star as it is referred to and and if I may say II take this as a miraculous phenomenon provided by God for a specific context involving these individuals, who are these individuals strictly speaking, they're not astrologers nor are they astronomers I think the best thing we could say about them is that they are scientists in the best kind of science that they are scientists. If you like with a theological bent with a philosophical interest and these particular individuals along those lines were apparently combining their interest in if you like the cause of loss with a knowledge that they have received from somewhere of messianic expectations so that because of the way their minds work. They saw that the movements of the spheres were directly related to events that took place on the air as so that these cosmic and manifestations governed in their minds or at least influenced human life and history. How do we come to this inner compulsion that that causes them to take care the coalescing of of these notions of messianic expectation and cosmic interplanetary activity and say to one another. You know what I think we should we should follow the star as I was about widowers going to take is yes, but I think to be a good idea to go. Everyone else stayed at home with what's happening here. You see, God is a God is a great God God is seeking worshipers.

God is able and willing to employ all kinds of situations, circumstances selling in order to move those upon whom he has set his love in the direction of his dearly beloved son. God uses all kinds of things creates within man and inner compulsion, unexplained. Secondly, in the text itself, we realize that they arrive at what we can legitimately refer to as an unexpected destination right up until this week.

I have always imagined that the wisemen rolled into town, as it were, and and headed immediately for Herod's palace and that may well be the case but as I read it again. I realize it is possibly not the case because they're not summoned until verse seven out of course they could have been present gone away and were re-summoned. Of course this is not a man or a plain thing but it is equally possible that what happened was they had arrived. Now in Jerusalem and their presence would have been felt and there inquiries would've been reported and the word would've reached the royal court that there is a group of folks here Magi and they're going around the Jerusalem and their asking where is he was been born king of the Jews divert some story about a star that they been following for quite a while response to this on the part of he who is the king, King Herod is being put in position by the Romans. Although he is not from the line of David. He is Indonesian. He's paranoid. He's already had one of his wife's killed a couple of his children to. He's not a person to be toyed with.

He lives in the fear that accompanies such paranoia and as a result of that when he hears this. Matthew tells us he was troubled the verb actually means. He was inwardly shaken and he was upset well after all if you think about it.

If this was to take hold.

If this notion was to spread if there were to be an uprising.

Then his own position would be in jeopardy.

So he needs to get to the bottom of it and assembles all the chief priests and the scribes of the people. Verse four is is question is straightforward. I need to know where the Christ was to be born is not asking the question, do you think is going to be a Messiah. Does anyone have any ideas about the possibility the idea of a Messiah coming. No no no no he says I need to know where the Messiah is to be born. What what how do we know the answer to this well the fellows that is straightforward. Micah gives us the answer. With a little piece of second Samuel thrown in their in Bethlehem of Judea. This is what was anticipated by the prophets quite interesting, isn't that a star could get them so far.

Couldn't get them all the way there now. You may use your whatever whatever started you off on your journey, or wherever you are on your journey. You tell me you had a dream or something happen like that. I'll know whether God is at work in it. If and when he brings you to the Bible and brings you to his son if he doesn't bring it to the Bible and bring you to his son and it's probably more to do with peace of the night before that, it is with any kind of divine intervention because the purpose of God the Spirit of God is given to God's people to draw God's world to God's son. That's how it works so the star may lead them along the way as it does accommodating himself to their scientific endeavors, but eventually brings them here in the answer that is to be found is the answer that is found in the Scriptures and the answer that is given by the people who know these are the theological scholars of the day. These are the ones who study the law of God, and they are the ones who give a definitive answer.

No, don't let us miss that the contrasted is here. Here we have these fellas at work regarding his kind of theological scientists who are arriving without great concern to get an answer to this search and here in the precincts of the palace. We have the scholars in the scholars on seem remotely concerned about the scientists. If you like care by the nonanswers. The scholars have the answers but they don't care. The Magi travel 800 miles in search of an answer describes aren't interested in going 6 miles down the road. Bethlehem to meet the answer was Astellas. Well, it tells a number of things, but at least this the fundamental mistake. For these individuals that the theological boys the biblical boys. The fundamental mistake lay in confusing a knowledge of the Scriptures with saving faith in the one all of whom the Scripture speak okay so the fight that we know certain things about the Bible. The fact that we may become Orthodox in our convictions regarding things that we may be able to answer questions by going chapter and verse to somebody who said what. Where was this Messiah supposed to be bought or we can say with describes what it was. Read Micah chapter 5 in verse two and in Bethlehem of Judea. Thus was spoken so long. People say what is that mean to you soon, nothing much you mean you know all the answers we've never met, the answer that's what we find here Herod, having received his answer then sense for the wisemen. He does it secretly as we might anticipate he wants to know when the star appeared in interesting questions, please only when you started with a star business. Now we know by reading on in the text just what he has in mind. We know from verse 13 on that he is a murderous plot to deal with the supposed king of the Jews that has emerged. Therefore, he needs to know what the window is in terms of a timeframe when he executes his murderous plan to deal with these children, these boys that have been born during this period of time, so presumably what they're saying is what we started this project with the looking not two years ago or so, and it's been a long time coming. Okay, so you're thinking that is very very helpful. I appreciate that. And you know if you could go in and make sure you find this child and then bring me word that I too may come and worship him what he's doing is he is actually fulfilling the, the, the, that that the plan of the evil one from the very beginning to destroy, to kill, to murder and the spreads. If you like a hellish net out and unwittingly he includes these Magi in his plan.

They don't know that he's a flat out ConMan, and off they go. God is going to intervene once again in their life's to make sure that doesn't happen because he saw from, but they leave the palace. The palace, which spoke of might and wealth and stature, and they arrive. You will notice the house, the place where the child was verse nine and going into the house.

Verse 11. So from a palace which would seem the most likely place for the king to a house which seems the most unexpected place for a K.

There is no might hear his only frailty is no wealth here. There's only poverty. There is no stature here. There is only loneliness makes me think of the fact that many people turn away from the story of Jesus because he just is an insult to their intelligence is an offense to our pride, and they say all this stuff some house in Bethlehem. Joseph had obviously upgraded from the manger and time had elapsed and as is true in the gospel records what what is quite striking is the absence of description verse 11 and going into the house. What was it like we don't know that three rooms, two rooms, a roof on the top with no nothing.

Did it have wallcoverings, fireplace, was it cozy was it Spartan. Nothing going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother and they fell down and worshiped him, didn't worship them worshiped him, and they proceed accordingly.

Now we have to be careful when we read the Bible that we don't deviate from course when considering the person of Jesus in one of two ways either thinking of Jesus and conveying the truth in a way that is insufficient in relationship to his divinity, so that we have the we have a Jesus doesn't appear to be completely divine. The flipside of that is that we convey a Jesus who doesn't appear to be completely human and we actually have here is he you in the words of the creeds is fully God and fully man. Therefore, as fully man.

He is fully boy, and as fully boy if he is 22 months you got an idea of what you're dealing with. There was no throne there was no beatific vision. There is nothing in the outward circumstances to say to anybody who shows up, although here is the king of the Jews. Here is the king who will rule the kingdom for ever and ever.

There was nothing there to say and fight the reverse because what they saw was a wee boy with his mother and with Joseph and their response dramatically is an unrestrained reaction unrestrained it it it just speaks of the spontaneity of it all and going into the house, they saw the fell they worshiped the opened the left in that order. No, presumably in the interchange that took place, which is not recorded for us. Mary and Joseph would've filled in the blanks. Inevitably, they would've said and what is his name and they would say Jesus and they would've said, what new do they have is is named after this are named are those of his or significance in the next four years as Joseph is there significance.

He says you know you tell me that you showed up your BIOS star.

My encounter was via an Angel and Angel came to me and and said he and his name will be called Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins that that this little boy that sin here is the Savior of the world.

This is Christianity dear folks, this is what you believe. If you're a believer you believe that in this encounter in this house in this Bethlehem scene with those who would set off on an outer and inexplicable mission. They are now confronted with the Savior of the world and what is Matthew doing well.

He's making it clear that the plan of God from all of eternity to put together the people that are his very own is unfolding here right in the very beginning of things that all the nations will come here you have the Gentile kings. He came to his own his own did not receive them describes that the answer to the question, but weren't interested in in the Magi came 800 miles because they long for something if you if you're interested in the Bible. Is this academic disputation arguing about this and that. The next thing coming up with intriguing notions of things and ideas in bits and pieces to fiddle with. I feel badly for you. You can see the wood for the trees, the main things of the plain things. Matthew begins hearing to with the nations of the world are beginning to come. Matthew ends his gospel, in the words of this little boy now in his manhood. What is he say all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me who in all of humanity can make such a state save the Christ, the Messiah of God, the one who finally in the book of Revelation is to preside over a multitude that nobody can count the lights for all of the nations the kings of all the earth. The awareness that one day in the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess that there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. It is doesn't play today doesn't I and I know the thoughts of some of my friends and and I'm saying this to the middle your you are totally out of your mind back and what why would why would they have to come from purchasing a good garage and Persian finger spirituality and Persian. They got a way to make sense of their existence in Babylon. Why would they need hours because there is only one name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved only want that's the significance. There is no other name can I and by asking you how helpful you have you started on this journey God been using something recently in your life an event and occur in some and it is, not your little sideways or left wondering somebody said to you ever read the Bible. He said no you started. You haven't quite found your way all the way through the story into Bethlehem Gen. of the prophet says seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. You will seek me and you will find me when you search for me with all your heart. You see, this is really the whole story of the the unfolding drama of Christmas seeking, finding, trusting, worship, have you come to Jesus we open up your treasures given in your life said you know this is where I am. This is who I am is the gift you've given me this my intellect. This is my is it me we ever fallen down and worshiped. Perhaps someone on this journey has reached the destination suddenly dawns on you. The reason I have begun to seek him is because he had previously begun to seek me, he waits he will not wait indefinitely. That's why the Bible always says today is the day of salvation. Jesus is waiting. That's a powerful reminder from Alastair Bragg. This is true for life weekend. Alastair will close our program with prayer in just a minute, so please keep listening may be, as you heard the story of the wisemen today. You realized that you two are on a journey to Jesus or like Alastair mentioned may be breached the destination and you're at a place in your life where you recognize Jesus is waiting for you.

If you're interested in finding out more about a relationship with Jesus we want to invite you to visit is a helpful video presentation there that explains how Jesus was born to be our Savior and how his sacrifice on the cross frees us from sin and offers us salvation again. Visit at Truth for Life. We have a singular focus. We teach the Bible and we do it, so men and women can hear God's word and come to know and love and trust the Lord Jesus Christ to save them from their sins and to lead them to eternal life teaching the Bible plants and waters the seed of saving faith, but only God can cause his word to grow. That's why Truth for Life teaches directly from the Bible each day of the year so that God's word can do God's work in the lives of all who listen.

If you're already a believer in Jesus Christ we recognize the importance of being in God's word regularly and setting that example for your family as well. So with 2020 winding down. We've selected and easy to use 52 week devotional guide that is designed to help you and your family spend a few minutes each day in God's word during 2021.

This book is called exploring the Bible together and we love this book because it lays out a program for us that is easy to manage each daily entry includes a Scripture reading. Couple questions for you and your children to talk about together. It even gives the answers to the questions if you're a parent looking for a pattern of family worship the book exploring the Bible together is a great way to begin your adventure in God's word. Visit our website Truth for to find out more. Now here's Alastair close with prayer father God for your word, we give you our humble praise. We thank you that it is a story of amazing Grace that although humanity mankind. We despite all that you made known of yourself turned our backs to you choosing to worship.

Substitute God's to fill our minds and our life's with things that do not, that cannot satisfy when you every legitimate right to be done with us yet again, in your mercy, you forbear so that it is your loving kindness which leads us to repentance. God grant that this day we might meet you at the place where you keep all of your appointments at the cross of your dearly beloved son, in whose name we pray about looking hope you're enjoying this Christmas weekend. Looking forward to a happy new year next weekend. Alastair starts the year off with a new series called Christian basics. Hope you can join us. The Bible teaching of Alastair beg is furnished by Truth for Life. Learning is for Living

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