Matthew chapter two begins in Bethlehem and ends in Nazareth with points in between. What a packed chapter that covers so much action and activity in the life of the new- born Savior. May I lift out the very small but important part found in verse eleven which states, “…They presented unto him (Jesus) gifts…”? This is the time of year that the word gift or gifts is very paramount in the thinking of both young and old. Of course, the one to whom we give the gift will help to determine what the gift will be. Maybe this is the determining fact that the Wise Men brought such precious gifts to give to the baby Jesus who now was upward to two years of age (see verse 16). Let me point out just three thoughts in this wonderful packed chapter i.e., (1) The witness of the star (2) The worship of the wise men (3) The warning of the angel.
THE WITNESS OF THE STAR
God was going to use the Wise Men and the gifts that they brought to Jesus. However, He first of all used a star to guide these men to the Savior. These Wise Men must have been searching for the truth of the coming Messiah for their question was, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?” What a joy it is to search the Scriptures and to study of our wonderful Savior. What a joy it is to have the Lord to guide us in our search. These men were looking for a King and they brought gifts worthy of the King. Amen.
THE WORSHIP OF THE SAVIOR
Verse two indicates that these Wise Men came to worship the Savior. Verse 11 tells us that they fell down and worshipped Him. Then we have a very interesting thing that is related to us, “…And when they had opened their treasures…” that they may have brought all of their treasures with them on the trip. The Scripture does not indicate to us what and how much was included in their treasures but it must have been substantial. Out of these treasures they presented to Jesus gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Keep in mind that one did not approach an Eastern monarch with out a substantial gift. Someone has suggested that the three gifts were symbolic of
“gold for the King” , “frankincense in honor of His deity” because God is honored with incense, and “myrrh” in recognition of Christ’s humanity since myrrh was used in relation to death. We are specifically told all these things in Scripture but we do know that these men came to worship and honor the King of the Jews. We are going to receive a special “Christmas” gift on Sunday December 21st here at the Lighthouse. As the Wise Men were led in their worship and recognition of the Savior, let us come with a holy awe to worship the Savior with gifts from our treasures.
THE WARNING OF THE ANGEL
After the Wise Men came on their visit to the Savior and brought their gifts, Joseph was warned of the angel that he should flee to Egypt for the safety of the baby Jesus. The question has arisen, “How did Joseph’s family live?” They were poor and had to leave quickly and travel to Egypt and be sustained there as well. Others have suggested that perhaps the gifts of the Wise Men no doubt were helpful in this move of the family. Some times we may question the leading of the Lord in the reason and purpose of our giving and yes even the amount. However, we may not see that the work of the Savior is going to face an immediate and challenging opportunity of ministry.
The best diagnosis of Christmas was given by a doctor over 1900 years ago. The doctor is Luke. His diagnosis is found in the second chapter of his inspired record, known to us as the Gospel according to Luke. In the 11th verse we have the Message: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” This is one of favorite verses of the Bible. Luke is so clear in his diagnosis. It is personal, present and of course precious. May I share some thoughts with you from this wonderful verse in Luke chapter two? I would like to take the separate phrases from verse eleven for our diagnosis.
…This Day… THE TIME
This day had been a long time in coming, but it is certainly on time. Galatians 4:4 states, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem…” However, this time line started in Genesis 3:15 and continued when God called Abram and made an everlasting covenant with him. God established a nation through which Christ came according to Galatians 4:4 when time was full. On this very day of Luke 2:11 was the day that God fulfilled his promise and prophecy of Genesis 3:15. John 8:56 says, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.”
…In the City of David…THE PLACE
Not only was Christ on time when coming into this world, but he came to the very place that God’s Word had prophesied to us. According to Micah, who wrote 700 years before Christ came, “Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he (Jesus) come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (See Luke 2:4-7)
…Is Born…THE VEHICLE
Now Luke rejoices that Christ is born. Someone rightly stated that Christ was the only person who chose to be born. What a thought! Why? Christ came, as is stated in the Gospel of John chapter one, to become flesh. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us… We call this the incarnation, “the word became flesh… Matthew 1:23 says this, “…and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
…The Savior…THE GIFT
Why did He choose to come at this time into this place? He came as Matthew 1:21 states, “…thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” 2 Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” “The gift of God is eternal life.” Christ came to be our Savior and to pay our sin debt that we may have this free gift of eternal life. This gift is unspeakable, unlimited and unforgettable. We must all realize that the Savior,,,the Gift… is either accepted or rejected by each of us.
…For unto you…WHOSOEVER
All this is possible for us, for me, for you and for whosoever. This wonderful verse in Luke 2:11 is so great because it is given to show us that Christ came on time to the right location as the God man to pay our debt and provide this wonderful gift of salvation to whosoever would accept Him.
This wonderful truth is the Joy of Christmas.
Our Christmas Cantata church-wide outreach will continue Monday (12/8) through Wednesday (12/10). We will meet in the lower parking lot at 6:30 where we will board buses and head into our community to invite our neighbors to our Christmas Cantata this weekend. For questions or more information, please contact Associate Pastor Northcutt (461-5561 Ext 137 or email email@example.com)
There will be a Children’s Christmas Program rehearsal on Monday (12/8) in the Main Auditorium at 7 p.m. All children participating in the program are encouraged to attend. For questions or more information, contact Associate Pastor Jordan (461-5561 Ext 113 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
We will have multiple opportunities to reach out in to our community to pass out invitations to our Christmas Cantata this week.
On Friday (12/5) and Saturday (12/6), there will be a bus heading to Balboa Park to pass out tracts at the annual “December Nights” festival. The bus will leave from the lower parking at 8 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Also, on Saturday (12/6) we’ll meet at 9:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall where we will meet and head out to our Military Base Housing communities to invite our military neighbors.
For questions or more information, contact Pastor Scott Northcutt (461-5561 Ext 137 or email email@example.com).
In preparation for our Christmas Cantata, we will have a church-wide work day on Saturday, December 6th at 9 am. All major ministries have been assigned areas of responsibility so see your ministry leader to see how you can help. If you are new to the church or don’t know where to help, please see Brother Russ Prock (461-5561 Ext 115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you are new to Lighthouse Baptist Church, please plan on joining us for a New Visitor’s Reception following the morning service (11/30) in room 203 (next to Bookstore). This a great opportunity to meet the Pastoral Staff and ministry leaders and get a better understanding of ministries & services that our church provides. A light lunch will be provided. For questions or more information, please contact Associate Pastors Scott Northcutt (461-5561 Ext 137 or email email@example.com).
There will be a Teen Momentum Activity on Sunday (11/23) following the evening service in the Fellowship Hall. The cost is $2. For questions or more information, please contact Youth Pastor Kirk Harrell (461-5561 Ext 136 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
There will be a work-day on Saturday (11/22) at 9:30 to decorate the church property with Christmas decorations. For questions or more information, please contact Brother Russ Prock (461-5561 Ext 115 or email email@example.com)
1345 Skyline Dr. | Lemon Grove, California 91945 | (619) 461-5561 | site credits