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Why the Gifts of the Wisemen - Part 1

Turning Point / David Jeremiah
The Truth Network Radio
December 15, 2020 12:28 pm

Why the Gifts of the Wisemen - Part 1

Turning Point / David Jeremiah

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December 15, 2020 12:28 pm

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This podcast is made available by this increased in media postevent generosity of how supportive you a donation today means great podcasts like this remain available to help people look to God daily presentation and today we send out all day. Welcome to Turning Point there include many Christmas songs and in every unit we really don't know too much about Jeremiah clears up some of the mystery of the wise men offering biblical insights and the meaning behind each gift guide to the cross job from one of the Nativity is his message why the gifts of the wisemen friends. We have been discussing a lot of the questions about Christmas and here's another one why the gifts of the Wiseman Wiseman travel across the continent to see the Messiah know they didn't arrive in Bethlehem at the manger which we often confuse at Christmas time and I'm not asking you to go change that up you go to get all these characters and you don't have a whole new testament time to do it but but it's important to know that the wisemen came much later when Christ was, not a baby but a little child, and they brought gifts for the king and going to talk about those gifts for the next two days. Why the gifts of the Wiseman just one of many questions were examining during the month of December as we talk about Christmas. I love the season I truly do look forward to it. And you know this year more than ever before his ministry to my heart.

This is been a hard year for all of us. So many questions without answers so many difficult things so many unprecedented moments and yet here is something we can hang on to something we can move toward and that is this wonderful message of hope that comes with the gift of Christ and the Christmas is the incarnation, the coming of God to be with us how desperately need him. During these days. Well here we go. Why the gifts of the Wiseman. The next condition. Why well as you know, asking some questions during this season about why the Nativity had today were going to ask the question why gifts of the wisemen why the gifts of the wisemen is that season of the year. It's a wonderful time of year. As you know, it's time we all celebrated at our house along with all the decorations and the snowman. One of the things that happens is we get hundreds of Christmas cards from all over the world and it's the wonderful thing to see it. Most of the cards are filled with verses of Scripture and messages of hope and encouragement. But then we have some friends who send this other kinds of Christmas cards as well.

Cards that are meant only for one thing and that is to put a smile on her face. Some of them have some the most interesting messages is one that has on the front of it. The three great Christmas lies when you open it up it says easy to assemble unbreakable and one-size-fits-all. Three great Christmas lies another one on the front of it says I don't think I'll be getting my wife anything this year.

When you open it up. It's as she still hasn't use the snow shovel. I got her last Christmas is one of I get such a thrill out of watching my children hanging up her stockings on Christmas Eve. Then you open it up and on the inside it says it's not that it's Christmas Eve. It's just a thrill to see them hanging anything up, and my all-time favorite Christmas card story I read about a lady who wanted to send cards to a group of friends for whom she had no intention whatsoever of buying a gift. She waited till the last minute to get a cards and maybe she went to CDC I don't know but you passed the hallmark on her way home the week before Christmas and decided to run into the store and grab some Christmas cards and she rushed into the store.

There she saw a box of cards that seem to be just right. I mean on the front it said for my heart to yours cards that pretty gold trimming around the edge and she quickly sign the back of each one. Without looking inside and she sent them off to her friends believing she had now fulfilled her Christmas obligation little bit later in the week. She still had a couple of those cards left and she decided to see what the inside of the card said when she opened up the card. She found this little poem. This Christmas card is just to say a little gift is on its way about scrambling Manheim so so maybe we should read the inside of the cards before we send them out with today. I want to talk with you about gifts and giving the whole nature of Christmas just to give gifts and it all started.

As you know, with the greatest gift that's ever been given by the greatest giver in all of the world, the Lord God himself who gave us his son and that's what Christmas is all about.

What is it that Paul wrote in second Corinthians. Thanks be unto God for his indescribable gift.

We start with a giving God but one were in the midst of studying the story of Christmas. We haven't gotten very far before we run into some people called the wisemen and these wisemen probably have as much to do with our giving gifts to one another, and gifts to the Lord as anyone in all of history record is given to us of their coming with gifts to the Lord in Matthew chapter 2 I like for you to read with me from Matthew chapter 2 verses one into and verses 11 and 12 and we can read out loud together. Now, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod, behold wisemen from the East came to Jerusalem to say where is he who has been born king of the Jews, for we have seen his star in the ease and have come to worship him. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshiped him, and when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to go frankincense and myrrh then warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

There is something special and mysterious about this age old picture that we have read from across the continent over the desert sand beneath the silent stars trudges this curious caravan in a distant land.

These men have read signs in the evening sky, sensing an incredible truth that few other living souls were to recognize for many years. We remember them as the wisemen or using the gospel name the Magi from which we derive the word magic and it is indeed a story filled with wonder for centuries we have speculated about their identity. They were first cited in the vicinity of Jerusalem, asking the question recorded in verse two of Matthew to say where is he who has been born king of the Jews have seen his star in the East and have come to worship him painters throughout the ages have enjoyed showing the elegant wisemen worshiping Jesus on Christmas night, beside the shepherds, but such an idea never came from the Bible at all.

Matthew tells us that when the Magi arrived to worship Jesus. The scene was not the rustic birthplace of Christmas at all, but it was a house. Matthew 211 says and when they had come into the house, they saw the young child, it would seem that a few weeks few months, maybe even a year and 1/2 had passed since Jesus had been born in the manger.

Joseph and Mary had situated their little family in a more suitable home. Therefore, it was a bit later that the wisemen came three well maybe there were three and maybe there worked as a matter of fact three names have traditionally been associated with these men.

Baltasar Melchior taskbar, but they are in the Bible you will find their names in the Bible.

In fact, it was the seventh century before these names were attached to the Christmas story and they came out of an opera that was created to tell the story of Christmas so I don't want to undercut your faith in the Christmas story, but I want you to know what the Bible says the wisemen in the manger scene now. I hope it doesn't ruin your Christmas pageants for make you go back and rework your Christmas cards.

I remember when the film the Nativity story was being finished, and they sent me the screenplay to read so that I could decide what I wanted to do this book project are not.

They asked me if there was anything in the screenplay that was on biblical and I said well there's only one thing is not quite right and that is the wisemen are at the manger scene, and they're not supposed to be there and the director said Jeremiah this films only 93 minutes long.

We have to get there before the film is over so so we give them a little latitude there but if you really want to know the truth.

The wisemen came when Jesus wasn't a babe which is the term that is used in the book of Luke here in the book of Matthew. He is called, look down at your Bibles. A young child that's a different word in the language of the New Testament which means an older child. So Jesus wasn't a baby. He was a young child.

When the wisemen came so why do we say there were three wisemen.

The only reason we say that is because the Bible tells us there were three gifts and we assume that each person brought one gift but we don't know that for sure.

In fact, there may have been many wisemen and only three presenters but having said all about what we do know is these men of intelligence.

These aristocrats, these Gentile came came a long way to find Jesus and they came for the very same purpose for which the shepherds had, they came to worship him and they brought gifts.

That's what they bring to the story. These men brought gifts and these were not incidental gifts. They are not just three things they chose out of there fast treasures to bring to Jesus. They were last-minute gifts. I'm sure the gifts are extremely significant and when we understand the background of each of the gifts that were brought we will comprehend the tremendous faith that these wisemen had in coming to worship the Lord. They truly are some of the heroes of the Nativity story. Let's look at them first about what the wisemen gave to Jesus. They gave the gift of gold for a king. It says in Matthew 211 when they opened their treasures presented to him go.

Now we imagine the first visitor stepping forth opening his little small chest to reveal breathtaking sight as he takes over the cover. There is gold and the gift needed little explanation throughout the world gold was coveted as the most precious of metals.

The standard by which all well was measured.

Even back then they had such a thing is the gold standard. Gold is one of the noble metals, no single accident can destroy it, nor will it rust away or will it like iron or 10 corroded no one can successfully imitate or fake gold, and it is the metal easily turned into the uses of beauty all the way back in Exodus 39 we read of them sowing gold in the fabric for garments, chemists say that the durability of gold is so great that a single grain of gold can be drawn out into a wire one 1000th of an inch in diameter extending for a length of about 1 mile pure simple, almost indestructible gold is indeed a royal metal in the ancient world in which Christ was born. Gold was even rarer than it is today. That's why gold is a royal gift symbolizing kingship in the ruins of a town that has the name of Messina, which dates from the earliest time of the Trojan wars. There is an ancient cemetery in which the kings of the towns were buried and in that cemetery. They were buried in case in an undated with gold.

There's a very famous mask that has been found in the archaeological discoveries it's called the mask of Agamemnon, and it is a mask for kings.

It is a death mask 14 and it is made out of pure gold. John Henry Hopkins Junior gave us the little Carol that we sing at this time of the year.

We three Kings which includes the stanza born a King on Bethlehem's plane gold I bring to crown him again came forever cc never over us all to raid so gold is a gift which was given to signify the royalty and kingship of Jesus. Some have pointed out the paradox here. A baby born in the simplicity of a feed trough to peasant parents and three wealthy men journeying from a far country to give this child the gift that for a king summit pointed out that the wisemen gave was the most precious of all metals and they finance the trip of Mary and Joseph into Egypt, which they had to take to get away from the wrath of Herod. We may not know all of this except we do know that in that day even in our day. Gold is the royal metal and it was presented to Jesus to signify his kingship. Secondly, the Bible says the gift of gold for a king, and the gift of frankincense for a priest.

Once again, in Matthew 211 were told that when they opened their treasures, they gave to Jesus gold and frankincense.

Another visitor steps forward. This time he doesn't have a box in his hand. He has a little bottle and he opens the bottle and this delicious fragrance permeates the small room. It's the aroma of frankincense the second of the gifts I did a little homework on frankincense and I found out it is a resident which is from a kind of tree that is held so sacred in Arabia and Ethiopia were a group that only a few, particularly holy and poor people were even allowed to approach the trees to obtain this precious frankincense itself when Arab cuts/in the trunk of the tree like someone from Vermont cuts a maple tree and then strips off a narrow piece of bark and about 5 inches long. Below the cut and the sap slowly loses out of the tree and it's allowed to harden for about three months then it's collected in lumps and these lumps are yellow or colorless, dusty looking with a bitter taste but when you like them on fire burned with a bright white flame. And there arises from them this beautiful smell that goes to heaven which certainly made the wisemen believe that this was a gift would be pleasing to God in Jesus day this kind of incense was used in temple worship. It was mixed with oil and it was used to anoint the priests of Israel.

It was also mixed with the meal offerings as they offered them to God, but one of the interesting things about incense is this that it was always an offering of thanksgiving and praise to God. It was significant of the priests role among the people and it is that I believe to which Paul refers when he writes to the Philippians in Philippians 4.

Indeed, I have all and abound I am fully having received from a path for a diet is the thing sent from you a sweet smelling aroma and acceptable sacrifice well pleasing to God. In other words, Paul said, like the incense offering of the Old Testament. What you have given to me to support me in my ministry. Paul said, is like that incense offering the goes up to heaven, and the aroma is pleasing to God in the Old Testament, the incense offerings were never associated in any way with the sin offering. Never was it incense offering offered with meat offerings or with wine offerings and atonement for sin.

The incense was always a thanksgiving and praise offering. It was always an act of worship to bring incense to God, almost as if to say is they presented this gift to the Christ child. Here is the gift that is fitting for a priest yes fitting for a sinless priest who himself will become sin for us, that we might know his forgiveness and his righteousness gold was given, because Jesus was dictating and incense was given, because Jesus was a priest the high priest over us all and and finally there is the third gift and met him 211 says they presented to him gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Say the word morale allowed murder.

It is a word which comes from the Hebrew word mar, which means to be better in Jesus day murder was the ingredient that was used to embalm a dead body.

There was an external embalming as you remember those days they did not have the procedures that we have today, but when they prepared a body for burial.

They would wrap the body in layers of cloth and then they would place their embalming spices in between the layers and then wrap the body some more, and continue to do that, we are told in the Scripture that when Joseph of Arimathea came to prepare Jesus body for burial that he brought with him 100 pounds of her for the burial to be wrapped within the cloth that was used to bury our Savior. One of the churches of Asia minor that we read about in the book of Revelation is the church of Smyrna.

That sounds a little bit like murder resident and it's should sound like murder because that's where murder was manufactured. Smyrna got its name from the manufacturing of murder. Interestingly enough in the seven churches of revelation Smyrna is the church which is associated with suffering is the suffering church now ladies if you are invited to a baby shower to honor a new baby and you are asked to bring a gift what it even cross your mind to bring a case of embalming fluid, I doubt it. But indeed that's what these men brought murder had a value, it could have been sold for money, but the significance of the gift of murder is that it was given to someone who was born for the particular purpose of dying just as Mary of Bethany over in John 12 anointed Jesus body for burial before he had even died. Remember when she poured all of her expensive ointment on them and washed his feet with her hair and it says in the Scripture that she anointed his body for burial in advance long before Mary ever did this, the wisemen did the very same thing and the one who brought that gift to Jesus was say this one we have come to worship as not only are taking and are priest but we worship him as our Savior, for he is come to die for us and the gift of murder signifies his death.

Well as you can see we don't have enough time in all of this in one programs are you going to have to come back tomorrow as we finish up our discussion of why the gifts of Wiseman and then on Friday were to talk about why music at Christmas. That's one of my favorite lessons and you want to be a part of all of this going forward to Christmas were going to talk about the Nativity every single day see right here tomorrow for more information on Dr. Jeremiah's current series like the Nativity, please visit our website with bills. I find two revised to help you stay connected monthly magazine Turning Points and L daily email devotional sign up today. David Jeremiah thought or/ready. That's Jeremiah thought old/right when you do ask for a copy of Dragon 365 day devotional for 2021: strength and its filled biblical truth for the yearly and the gift of any amount and to keep your spirits right through the holiday season. Visit the home for Christmas candlelight Turning resource Christmas music videos, messages and behind for Christmas Gary. Hopefully please join us tomorrow as we continue the series like the Nativity terrible Turning Point. Jeremiah, thanks for taking time to listen to the Friendly's.


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