We Three Kings

I. Beforehand, ask if the band can play We Three Kings during the communion or before it

We three kings of Orient are

Bearing gifts we traverse afar.

Field and fountain, moor and mountain,

Following yonder star.

O star of wonder, star of night,

Star with royal beauty bright,

Westward leading, still proceeding,

Guide us to thy perfect Light.

Born a king on Bethlehem’s plain,

Gold I bring to crown Him again,

King forever, ceasing never

Over us all to reign.

(refrain)

Frankincense to offer have I.

Incense owns a Deity nigh.

Prayer and praising all men raising,

Worship Him, God on high.

(refrain)

Myrrh is mine: Its bitter perfume

Breaths a life of gathering gloom.

Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding dying,

Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

(refrain)

Glorious now behold Him arise,

King and God and Sacrifice.

Alleluia, alleluia!

Sounds through the earth and skies.

(refrain)

II. Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 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. When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 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. In Bethlehem in Judea, they replied, for this is what the prophet has written: ‘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.’ Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 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. 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. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 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. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

III. Statement of Focus

Just as the Three Wise Men, we too are travelers on the road to meet Jesus. Let’s see what lessons we can learn from “We Three Kings”.

IV. Communion Lesson

As we come to the communion, we will talk about how “we three kings” encountered the infant Jesus.

Read Scripture: Mt 2:1-12

First of all, how many kings were there?

No one knows

We think three, because there were 3 gifts

Secondly, were they really kings?

No one knows.

The Bible simply says they were Magi, which can be translated as Wise Men or even Astronomers/ Astrologers/ Numerologists

We do know that they were very knowledgeable regarding the skies and stars.

And God used their knowledge and their seeking hearts to let them meet Jesus.

They clearly knew about the Jewish people.

And history tells us that it was not uncommon for Magi to pay homage to kings.

They must have been wealthy/ renowned in order to be ushered into the court of King Herod.

These were no simple men.

Where were they from?

The Bible says they came from the East.

Scholars think they likely came from Babylon/Persia.

Babylon had captured the Jews hundreds of years before.

And some Jews had become advisors to the Babylonian kings.

You may recall a certain well known advisor named Daniel.

These men were clearly well aware of the messianic prophecies of the Jews.

They knew this would be a historic event!

They don’t say “the star” but rather “HIS star” in verse 2.

How far did they travel?

Probably about 500 miles – by foot and camel.

That’s about 10-20 miles per day.

That makes a round trip of 50-100 days

Or somewhere between 2 and 4 months

By the way, they WEREN’T there the night of Jesus’ birth.

They came sometime later.

Maybe weeks or even months.

Matthew 2:1 says they came AFTER the birth of Jesus.

Why did God include them?

Because they were Pagans!

They were enemies

The were former captors

Why would God miraculously call the Pagans to worship the King?

God is making the point that his kingdom is for ALL men!

Even the pagans/enemies/former haters.

Jesus would truly be the King of ALL Kings and peoples

The first thing I notice is that the road to meet Jesus is a LONG ROAD.

Sometimes the road to find Jesus is a long path

It may take months of searching.

And even after months, we still need help.

Which brings us to the second point: We still NEED HELP from others.

These were wise men.

The Jews hadn’t even noticed the star!

So why ask the Jewish king for help?

They knew SO MUCH.

Yet they still needed help from people who knew the Bible better than them!

How about YOU and ME?

It is easy for me to feel good about all my effort.

I have sacrificed so much for Jesus.

I have traveled SO far!

Yet it is God’s plan that I STILL need other people!

Crazy

But true!

What amazes me about them is their FAITH.

They knew they would meet the King/Messiah.

But they didn’t know the destination.

Hey, Magi #1, Where are you going?

To meet the new King

But WHERE are you going?

I don’t really know.

But I thought you had faith. Doesn’t your God show you where you are going?

Well…sort of.

You see, that IS faith!

God says, come to me.    

And we go.

Even though we don’t know the final destination.

We just know that if God is with us, and if we obey, then we WILL meet Jesus!

I also learn that God allows us to ENCOUNTER DECEIVERS.

You’d think God would keep us from running into the “King Herod’s” of this world.

But he allows it that we run into people who will LIE to us, USE us, and DECEIVE us.

God could have given them the dream earlier – the dream that warned them about Herod.

Yet God didn’t.

In fact, God even used this horrible deceiver as part of the story!

God uses Herod to point the Magi to Bethlehem.

God gave this guy, Herod, a chance to be good.

But not even sneaky Herod could OUT-THINK God.

Do you see GOD in every aspect of this story!

So let’s talk about EXPECTATIONS for a bit.

What did THEY expect?

They likely expected the BEST HOSPTIAL

The BEST PALACE

The FINEST DOCTORS

But NOT a poor, simple Family.

Yet God always SURPRISES us!

How do I deal with it, when God completely thwarts my expectations?

Isn’t this the IRONY of Christmas?

God came into the world in a simple, poor fashion

…rather than with a huge Christmas Miracle?

And finally we see that the Magi brought GIFTS

Gold, Incense, Myrh

All three gifts are ordinary offerings and gifts given to a king. Myrrh being commonly used as anointing oil, frankincense as a perfume, and gold as a valuable.

Yet the 4th gift was their greatest gift!

Did you notice it in verse 11?

(NAS) After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

This was just paying homage to the Messiah.

They were worshippers.

And their greatest gift was to bow down and worship!

And verse 10 says they were “exceedingly filled with joy” to find Jesus.

It was their 4th gift that thrilled God – and that pointed to Jesus being the messiah for all people.

<<<Upward Call>>>

So in this Christmas season, let’s not just make the decision to have regular times with the Lord once again.

But instead, let’s take some time to simply FALL DOWN and WORSHIP…

…as we count it a blessing to have been able to meet Jesus.

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