Christmas is Worship
Text: Matthew 2:1-11
The Christmas season is about worship and adoration to the “King of the Jews” who came to bring salvation and hope to all mankind.
It is amazing how society has made this season about buying and giving gifts when in reality it is about worship and adoration to the King of Kings who came to earth as a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes.
In the passage we read this morning we see five great truths about Christmas as a season of worship.
Who were the Magi? They were wise men who were astronomers and philosophers. God used their love of the stars to draw them to the place where Christ lay.
1. Jesus is the Messiah, the King of Jews, and should be honored that way. In V2 the wise men ask this profound question – Where is He who was born the King of the Jews? For we saw His star when it rose and we have come to worship Him.
This question is profound because they are asking Herod this question. It had been Herod who had proclaimed himself as the king of the Jews for almost 40 years. But no one could call Herod Messiah, the long awaited God-anointed ruler who would overcome all rule and bring an end to history and establish the kingdom of God and never die or lose His reign.
The fact is no one can take the place of Messiah God who is King of all the earth. And Christ is no ordinary man, teacher or prophet, He is the Son of the Living God who came to turn the world upside down – not as a warrior but in the innocence of a baby. You see this was important because in Jesus he was not just a king but He was the Messiah.
For the Jewish people the promise of a Messiah, redeemer, was what they longed for. The story is told that the Jewish people of that day would greet each other with the words “have you heard any good news?” They longed for their Messiah who would redeem the world and rescue them form the bondage and turmoil they faced.
The Magi recognized the fulfillment of prophecy and they had come to worship him. The Magi recognized what Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:17 recognized that Jesus should be worshipped as King when Timothy stated that to the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
2. Jesus is to be worshipped by all of the nations and not just the Jews as represented by the Magi coming to worship Him.
Matthew 24:14 – And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Jesus did not come to save a select few but he came that the whole world might be saved. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.
It is God’s desire to today that all mankind turn to Him and worship Him. This is regardless of their background and ethnicity. With this thought in mind it behooves us to understand that we too must take Christ to all of the world. We must deal with our innate biases that steer our thoughts and efforts away from loving the world.
3. God will do whatever it takes to make His Son known and worshipped. This is the heart of God.
V2 – For we saw His star when it rose and we have come to worship Him.
It is not clear how the wise men saw the star or how God used the star to draw them to the place where Jesus lay. In fact, we must be careful and not over think this as we will miss the truth that they were led by a star to the place where Jesus lay.
There is often a time that God does things beyond our ability to comprehend them but that does not diminish what He has done. It simply means that rather than trying to figure it out we accept the truth and learn the greater lessons from these stories:
- The Star
- The parting of the Red Sea
4. Jesus is troubling to those who do not want to worship Him and brings out opposition to those who do.
V3 – When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem was with Him.
When we share Christ, we must be aware that there will be those who will not worship Him. I don’t understand that but that does not change the reality that some will refuse to give Him honor.
Even worse there will be those who not only fail to worship Him but they will come in opposition to what Christ stands for. We see this in our society today when people who refuse to worship Christ do not stop at that point but they go into a total opposition mode.
Isn’t it interesting that we can talk about God and we can talk about spiritual things but we can not talk about Jesus.
5. Worshipping Jesus means joyfully ascribing authority and dignity to Christ with sacrificial gifts.
V11 – … and they fell down and worshipped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts.
We come into worship to give him gifts:
- We give him our voices in song and words
- We give him our thoughts as we recognize that worship is not a Sunday Morning event but a lifestyle that never ends.
- We give of our time, talent and tithe to Christ. We offer what we have to honor God and to ascribe authority to Him.
We do not give our gifts grudgingly or with suspicion but we do so because we are ascribing worth to Christ when we recognize that all we have belongs to Him anyway.
This is the season of giving, food and relationships. It is this time that we honor God with all that we have and that we are so that our whole lives are a worship to Him. So, our worship and who we are can not be separated.