Matthew Series (III) “A Story of Five Kings”

 

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Matthew: The King and His Kingdom

“A Story of Five Kings” – Matthew 2.1-12

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? WE SAW HIS STAR IN THE EAST AND HAVE COME TO WORSHIP HIM.
3 When King Herod heard this HE WAS DISTURBED, AND ALL JERUSALEM WITH HIM. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.
5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.
8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
11 On COMING TO THE HOUSE, they saw the CHILD with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of GOLD and of INCENSE and of MYRRH. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Matthew’s Purpose:

The main purpose is to show the reception given by the world to the new-born Messianic King. Homage from afar, hostility at home; foreshadowing the fortunes of the new faith: reception by the Gentiles, rejection by the Jews”                   (F. F. Bruce).—Word Pictures in the New Testament

THE HISTORY

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod,

Dateline: Jerusalem, approximately 4 BC (This means that Jesus was likely born as early as 6 BC)

Luke helps us nail down the time a little more specifically:

(Luke 2.1-3)

1 Now it came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all were proceeding to register for the census, everyone to his own city.

Who was Herod?

While many Herods are mentioned in the Bible, this was Herod the Great, named king over all four political districts of Palestine by the Roman Senate. IN OTHER WORDS…HE WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE KING BASED ON ROYAL LINEAGE. He ruled from 37 until his death in 4 b.c.

The history of the Herod family is filled with lies, murder, treachery, and adultery. Although Herod the Great was a ruthless, evil man who murdered many in his own family, he also supervised the renovation of the temple, making it much larger and more beautiful, as well as overseeing other building projects. This made him popular with many Jews. After Herod’s death, the districts were divided among three separate rulers. We later read about Herod the Great’s son, Herod Antipas, who killed John the Baptist (Mark 6:26-28) and taunted Jesus (Luke 23:6-12).

                                                      —Life Application Bible Commentary

THE STORY (words and verses)

THREE SEEKING KINGS

Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? WE SAW HIS STAR IN THE EAST AND HAVE COME TO WORSHIP HIM.

Magi – Could have been astronomers, rulers, some type of kings

From the east: Persian Empire, modern-day Iran

“We SAW His star…”

· It appears that the star has become invisible for some reason

o The past tense of “saw his star”

o The fact that they have to ask directions

ONE STIRRED KING

3 When King Herod heard this HE WAS DISTURBED, AND ALL JERUSALEM WITH HIM.

Many would accurately say that Herod was already a disturbed man, but when he was bothered so was all of Jerusalem, because they knew first-hand his vicious tendencies, and his violence when it came to protecting his dynasty.

A KINGDOM TOO BUSY FOR THEIR KING

4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, HE ASKED THEM WHERE THE CHRIST WAS TO BE BORN.
5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'”

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.
8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

This is one of those passages that we can pull several things from:

1. Herod was slightly familiar with the story of the promised Messiah (Christ)

2. He was not familiar enough to be expectant of His coming (asked them where)

3. He was more threatened by what God was doing then excited (sent them…)

àCan’t this happen to us as well? We become so consumed with daily living that we neglect to pay attention to what God is doing in us and around us. There are jobs to do, bills to pay, families to raise, futures to plan for, and in the midst of all that activity God is inviting us to find Him. Inviting us to return to Him.

Note: A Promise of Centuries Past Fulfilled:

6 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I WILL SHAKE ALL NATIONS, and THE DESIRED OF ALL NATIONS WILL COME, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty. 8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty. 9 ‘THE GLORY OF THIS PRESENT HOUSE WILL BE GREATER THAN THE GLORY OF THE FORMER HOUSE,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”

                                                                             Haggai 2:6-9 (NIV)

Is God “Shaking Things Up” to get your attention?

GPS SIGNAL RESTORED

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

More evidence that apparently the star had been temporarily hidden from their view, which begs a question. Why? Wouldn’t it have made life much simpler if the star had just remained the guide for the travelers? Jesus and His family could have lived in simple obscurity and never appeared on the radar of a psychopathic king. Why did God…make no mistake, God is in complete control of the heavens…hide the star, forcing the travelers to ask Herod for directions?

A SURPRISE PARTY FOR THE KING

11 On COMING TO THE HOUSE, they saw the CHILD with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of GOLD and of INCENSE and of MYRRH.

GPS: “RECALCULATING”

12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

THE SIGNIFICANCE – What it means for us today:

SEEKING JESUS IN WORSHIP may mean sacrifice (1-2)

  • Leaving home and loved ones.
  • Giving up time–part of the weekend.
  • Traveling a distance.
  • Braving the elements and weather.

SEEKING JESUS IN WORSHIP may trouble some people (3-8)

  • Sometimes children, spouses, and others don’t understand
  • People may laugh because you go to church on Sunday.
  • Some people may get hostile when you mention the Christ child.

SEEKING JESUS IN WORSHIP should bring us joy (9-10)

SEEKING JESUS IN WORSHIP means coming as Wise Men.

  • Bow Before Him in Worship, Adoration, and Reverence.
  • Offer to Him Gifts of Worship, Adoration and Sacrifice.
  • Obey His Voice in Worship, Adoration, and Faithfulness
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About bigdbentley

MEET DAVE "BIG D" BENTLEY - A MAN OF MANY HATS I wear a lot of hats in the course of my life. I wear the "husband hat" with my wife, Andie, whom I have been married to for 26 years. I wear the "daddy hat" with my children, Danielle and David, and their spouses, Micah and Tracie. I am privileged to don my "Papa hat" with my two gorgeous grand-daughters, Amaria and Jaydan, and my energetic grandson, Jethro. I wear the "pastor hat" with my church congregation in Wallingford, Vermont. I have served churches in West Virginia, Alabama, Florida and Vermont. In December of last year my wife and I accepted the call to serve in Wallingford, Vermont. In addition to this variety of caps, I am a student, attending Liberty University to receive a Masters in Teaching in Elementary Education as well as secondary Language Arts. My hobbies tend to revolve around my family, so they include, camping, traveling, playing board games, and spending time with them. In addition I enjoy reading, rainy days, listening to and playing worship songs, and cooking.

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