The Wise Response to Christmas – Deric Bartlett

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Sermon Notes

 Matthew 2:1-12
1. From what you know, what were “the days of Herod the king” like politically, socially and spiritually [Matthew 2:1]? Look up Matthew 2:13-18; Matthew 27:27-31; John 11:48; and Galatians 4:4 for further insights into the brutality and brokenness of the world at Jesus’ birth. How does this compare with our world today?
2. What do you learn about worship from the words and actions of the wise men throughout this story [Matthew 2:1-12]? Examine also Isaiah 6:1-7; John 4:21-24; and John 9:35-39 for additional worship inspiration.
3. If you were a “spiritual heart surgeon”, what would be your diagnosis of King Herod’s heart [Matthew 2:3-8; 13-18]? What would be his prognosis if left untreated? What treatment would you prescribe? Consult also Isaiah 6:9-10; Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:17-23; and 2 Corinthians 4:4.
4. Preoccupation and busyness fosters indifference to God’s working in our lives. The religious leaders quoted Scripture [Matthew 2:4-6; cf. Micah 5:2] but missed out on the opportunity to welcome and worship the new born King with the wise men. How do we combat indifferent attitudes? Consider also Matthew 13:22; Matthew 23:23; and Revelation 3:14-22.
5. What does the quote from Micah 5:2 tell us about “he who has been born king of the Jews” [Matthew 2:6]? How does this ancient prophetic word inspire your worship of Christ today? Reflect also on Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6-7; and Isaiah 11:1-10.
6. The wise men brought gifts to worship the newborn King [Matthew 2:11]. Why does gift-giving often accompany worship? Notice a similar connection in Deuteronomy 16:16; 2 Samuel 24:24; and Philippians 4:15-19. What are you planning to give as an act of worship to your King this Christmas?
7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?
“Worship is an act of war against the enemy of our hearts.” (Holley Gerth)