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January 26, 2021 7:05 am
Most families have favorite stories they like to tell on each other. Some of them are quite funny fact with the little embellishment to grow better with time and well. Our clever ability to finance the storyline makes our memories more entertaining. Those same skills cause damage to history is far more important, such as biblical history today on Insight for living. Chuck Swindoll exposes a couple of the false narratives we've accepted the bear no resemblance to the original title. Today's message wisemen wicked man and we begin with prayer father are in heaven, and your name is to be hollowed everywhere in the world in which it is besmirched scoffed at, ignored.
We in this place together.
Hello, your name, to acknowledge that you are holy, is none other in all things you do are good and right, though often mysterious and inexplicable to us, but the way you guide us is according to your plan, not ours.
The way you use us and places in unique places for those irreplaceable moments when we have the pleasure of speaking your name. There we experience the joy of your willful filled joy is what it is by him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise continually, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to your name we give you thanks because it is the season of the year to do so because the heart that has been changed is a heart full of gratitude and our list is endless.
From the very pulse in our veins beat of our hearts, breath in our lungs thoughts in our brains.
All of it made possible through your creative hand as you have put us together in a way that would please you give us a heart to love you mind to know you and will to obey you. May those things converge, this day as we love and learn about you, which will lead us to worship you like those who came from afar centuries ago. We pray that during this time of the year we will have the scales removed from our eyes fixed scales brought on by tradition, myth and legend and replaced with the clear vital truth of your word member learn to treasure this word as we would gold or silver, may we search for an understanding with patience and diligent.
May we be found faithful students of yours disciples of your son messengers of your spirit in this world that has lost its way.
My father I pray that you will deliver us from an negativism that often characterizes the Christian finding only fault around us. Maybe see the beauty in this earth. Maybe see the significance and others the dignity of humanity, the value of each life member realize that it is the tune of music in our hearts that prepares us to sing the songs of Zion come, thou fount of every blessing, tune our hearts to sing your praise. Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise. Thank you for those who fight for our liberty and keep us safe. So many unknown to us in dangerous and difficult places for those who have been incarcerated for their faith. For those strong and courageous voices of yours in dangerous places under the threat of those who would take their lives give them courage to press on and for those among us who are so under the swarming guilt of shame. Remind us Lord that you are one who forgives. As far as the east is from West you remove our transgressions from us 02 Grace have great debtor daily were constrained to be in today we give you thanks for your forgiveness and for the privilege of giving. Remind us Lord that these represent your money, not ours, and we handle it with absolute integrity. May these funds be used only for your greater purposes as we realize we serve a faithful God who does all things well and remind us that even in our giving, we are doing that which is eternal. Thank you for the privilege of worship today. The joy of learning the pleasure of your presence in the name of Jesus I pray all this people said listening to Insight for living to study the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll. Be sure to download is searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to Insight world.org/studies and outlets resume the message titled wisemen wicked man and us someone is put it well and education is nothing more than going from unconscious to conscious awareness of your ignorance, you realize what you don't know are the things you thought were so just ate so so when we heard about the story of the arrival of the wisemen will stop and think how many wisemen came from the East will be blurred. All our lives we been told there were three of them. Nothing in the Scriptures ever says here or elsewhere, that there were three of them. It's assumed because they brought three gifts. Now what is the Scripture teach. First, there's an unknown number of wisemen and there were only two kings according to what we read. One is called the King Herod and the other is the baby the newborn King of the Jews. How about when they arrived at the place where they saw him for the first time we have only verses 10 and 11 to guide us. No other place covers that subject in that particular detail. For example, move ahead to verse 10, when they saw the star they were filled with joy and they entered the house. How would they know way over in Persia, there was a king, born in Jerusalem or near their house when they know where to go. Since were never told the Star was with them all the way, only that it was there to announce his birth, and later when they're trying to find the specific location. It appears over Bethlehem.
We know that this is the son of God. In light of what we have learned in other sections of Scripture.
We know that this child is in fact the promised Messiah. We know that he is of the baby because is not called a baby when the Magi first looked at him about the monster he's called King Herod in verse one and later Herod the king what we know about King Herod, what is fascinating to do a study about him. There are several Herod's mentioned in the New Testament. He's the first one of the group became to be known as Herod the great, Herod gave new meaning to narcissism. He heaved me was a man of enormous ego and insane suspicion and jealousy. He was a builder which endeared him to many of the Jews because he built a number of places that would entertain them. He built theaters. He built racetracks.
He built other structures for their entertainment.
He built the temple that came to be known as Herod's Temple most remarkable thing he built was the impregnable fortress known as masala which is located in the wilderness of Judea, the place for later numerous Jews died rather than to be conquered by those who would come to control them.
A word about his jealousy. Hold on tight, you'll know now why calling the monster he was afraid for his position of power sharing his potential threat that is the threat of others who were growing in power.
He had the high priest ever stop your lists, who was his wife's brother drowned. Interestingly, after that he provided a magnificent funeral for the now did high priest, for he pretended to week. He then had Marianne knee his wife herself killed and then her mother murdered two of his own sons murdered. You can believe it, five days before Herod's death. He had 1/3 son executed one of the greatest evidences of his blood for status and insane cruelty. Listen to this. Was having the most distinguished citizens of Jerusalem arrested corrals together in one place imprisoned there and held until shortly before his death understand they were guilty of nothing but here's the reason he did it. He knew no one would mourn his death by then, so we gave orders for all those who were now considered prisoners to be executed. The moment he died in order to guarantee that there would be morning all across the city of Jerusalem that barbaric act was exceeded in cruelty only by the slaughter of all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its environs from the age 2 and under.
Matthew 216, which will look at next time that's the king one king is holy one is evil beyond imagination. One king is a child. Another is a madman.
Interesting how their paths were about to converge. Let's focus now on the Magi. That's the word used in Greek and also in many translations. Your Bible may read during that time.
Some of the men from eastern lands arrived in the may be called their Magi that is the Greek word for it.
Who were these Magi they were not kings, though they were people of great respect tradition tells us that there were three and they had name Casper Balthazar Melchior. We do not know that to be true, but that's what legend teaches us.
They represent says legends admit that they were the three sons auroral representatives of the three sons of Noah hints what is often pictured in nativity scenes as dark skin as an Ethiopian 12th-century Bishop of Cologne, not from the Virgin Islands. My dad, a bishop from Cologne is a 12th-century claim to have found their skull that also has remained a part of traditional information.
The truth is all we know for sure is what we find here in the second chapter of Matthew, everything else is assumed is not based on the Scriptures were never told there were three they were never called the Kings and by the way, it is never revealed the mode of transportation.
Though there are always shown on campus. They may have been on campus.
They may have arrived in a royal entourage carried by sling they may have been brought there on gilded carts pulled by animals from the area from which they came. Most likely they came from the Persian Empire. They were skilled in philosophy, ancient medicine and natural science.
They were keenly interested in the star most of the Magi were students of astronomy, which often led them into astrology a mixture of both. Some ultimately became soothsayers, fortunetellers, people of the magical arts and frequently turned into charlatan.
These men were not in that category. Though they were intrigued by the star notice they saw his star from wherever they were. We know nothing more about the star while I I realize and I read it all through this week about the start. Is this another said with equal low dogmatism is that there was a comment that was here for me it was it was Jupiter that in that year was very bright. I will believe anything. In fact I II can't say for sure because that's not what Scripture teaches.
I'm intrigued about the star because they saw that star when they first became aware of the birth of the king of the Jews, but they don't see the star again until there wondering where he is and it appears notice over Bethlehem.
Nothing is Scripture says they followed it all the way to Jerusalem and how do they know to come to what the Romans called Palestine nothing is a crucial question. How would they know in Persia, that the king of the Jews is born way over there in Israel during the period of time in history. I you will find this fascinating. There was widespread expectation of the coming of one who would be a great deliver a great King Roman historian Sue Tonio's writing of the time around the birth of Christ. Get this wrote the red spread over all the east, which would be where they were in some part of the east and old and established belief that someone from Judea.
That's the county where Jerusalem is located. Someone from Judea would come and rule the world with this historian another Roman historian named Tacitus wrote and I quote there was a firm persuasion that at this very time, rulers coming from Judea were to acquire a universal Empire. Interestingly, Tacitus wrote it in plural rulers, not just a room.
The Jewish historian Josephus, whom you've heard of reported in his work. Jewish wars about that time the time of Christ's birth, the Jews believed and he himself being Jewish would know this, the Jews believe that one from their country would soon become ruler of the habitable Earth. All that is fascinating information, though it is not set forth clearly in the Scriptures. It does make sense. That helps explain how those living in the East would be aware of the king, born west of them and would explain the reason for interpreting the brightness of the star. Perhaps I should return.
Tell you what I believe about the star I believe it is evidence of the glory of God. I believe the brilliance of the light appears as a star in heaven. Much like the light that shone down on the holiest of all, when the temp when the tabernacle was completed and the Shekinah glory of God filled this holiest place in them of the temple is built in the glory of God fill this holy place.
It is the brilliant resplendent light of Shekinah the glory of God, believe it is in the heavens, and evidence of the glory of God finds its appearance at the time of his birth, and then later at the place of his location when they go looking for now look at the passage of Scripture. They wanted to know where is the newborn King of the Jews. Herod didn't know he was not aware of this information. He didn't know the Scriptures, but he had with him counselors who did study the Scriptures so he was deeply disturbed when he heard this, why because he's insanely jealous. He suspicious of anyone who would become king in his place. It reads that everyone else in Jerusalem was disturbed I think that's because of the entourage. Suddenly there was an entourage moving into their city from a place far away and they're all coming together.
Some of them learned that would disturb any of us.
Such an entourage appeared in our city. There disturb the presence of all of this and so King Herod calls for his counselors and says to ask them where where is he supposed to be born. Notice they knew they knew the Bible that is the Old Testament and the quote from Micah chapter 5 verse two.
Look at this in Bethlehem in Judea, they said, for this is what the prophet wrote. Now that the prophet they're able to quote him you will Bethlehem in the land of Judah are not least among the ruling cities of Judah for ruler will come from you, who will be the shepherd of my people Israel. Notice not Palestine, but Israel and if you check that and check the date of that that prophecy is given some 700, if not more years before the star appears and the baby is born.
They knew the prophecy. So the quoted now watch closely, Herod called for a private meeting with the wisemen. This is never discussed it in any story about about the wisemen and there is a very important part of he calls them together. The public is invited. It's a private gathering and we notice he learned from them.
The time for the first star appeared. If you could read the sentence in the Greek you would read words like exactly the time he wanted to know precisely when did you first see that star. What's the big deal he's determining the age of the child or attempting to they think back over the star first appeared.
They want to know where is the child mother were here, he wants to know when did you see the star so they have this personal conflict together and in the star that they had seen go back if you will. He told him after they had answered were the start with the store first. He told them go to Bethlehem.
She learned about his counselors search carefully for the child sent a similar sentence appears hear another word carefully, or exactly make sure you find the trial and what you find him come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him.
You and I know as we read this that that was deceitful. If you want the worst of them see him so greatly with a bone with, but he doesn't. He's making his plan for killing these colorful details contained in Scripture illustrate how Jesus was born into a politically charged era not unlike our own.
Not everyone was pleased to meet Israel's new King you're listening to Insight for living and in the event you missed any program in Chuck Swindoll's brand-new study of Matthew. Remember, you can catch up by streaming the audio directly from our website, you'll find all the information that insight world.org behind the scenes were quite excited about this new series called the king's arrival were praying the thousands, perhaps millions around the world will join us in this exciting introduction to Israel's long-awaited king in the coming weeks and months. Chuck Swindoll will guide our global audience through Matthew's account of Jesus birth, his entire ministry on earth right through his parting words commonly known as the great commission along with the daily program Insight for living ministries has prepared a number of additional resources for you and each one is designed to help you dig deeper into God's word on your own and to apply the principles to your daily life.
For example, the online searching the Scriptures. Studies will complement each sermon. This gives you a way to explore the passage on your own and to take notes of what you're learning.
You can even print out the document and share it with friends to search the Scriptures with Chuck go to Insight.org/studies. Finally, along with the release of this brand-new series on the daily program. Chuck has recently released his verse by verse commentary on the book of Matthew as well. It comes in two hardbound volumes alongside the verses in Matthew will also gain access to charts, maps, photos, terms, and of course checks and practical insights to purchase windows living inside commentary on Matthew Collis listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8888 that's 1-800-772-8888 or go online to Insight.org/store right here on Insight for living. The preceding message wisemen wicked men and us was copyrighted in 2014 and 2021 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles Marshall and Dalton. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited