The Wish List

Date Preached: December 8, 2019
From the Series: The Christmas Lists
Topics: christmas
Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12
Notes: Download PDF
Speaker: Gary Combs

Summary

Our wishes, our longings, are really a kind of worship. Because that’s what worship is. Worship is seeing something or someone that we count worthy of our affection and longing, our love, and then, recognizing that worthiness, we seek to give them what they’re worth.

In the book of Matthew the story of the birth of Jesus was told within the political backdrop of the times. Jesus was the one prophesied to be King, but He came in the most unexpected way. And from the beginning there was a battle between His Kingdom and the false king that usurped His Throne. The challenge for us is to remove our worship from the false king and to put our worship on the true King, Jesus Christ. After all, it’s His birthday we’re celebrating. Not ours.

Transcript

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Good morning. It’s good to see you here this morning. We’re beginning a new series for Christmas and we’ll be talking about the different kinds of lists that we make it. We’re going to be talking about the wish list.

How many of you make a wish list at Christmas? That’s something we all do. We make wish lists. How many of you remember the Sears book that used to come out sometime around October called the wish book? Remember the wish book? Do you know what I’m talking about? My brother and I would mark that thing up; we’d have it “dog eared” and circled, with notes next to it. We would make notes that this is number one and this is number two. Notes such as, “If you can’t get this one, please get this one. ” I mean, we worked really hard; we had things we wished for. Some years we would get what we wished for, and some years we wouldn’t. I guess, you know, we didn’t really pay attention to the price. My mom often said it looked like we circled the ones most expensive but we weren’t really concerned about the price. Sometimes we would get what we wished for; sometimes, you get what you wish for and you’re not really sure that you like it after all. Do you know what I’m saying?

So, we would have wish lists every year. One year, I was fired up about this TV series called “Lost in Space.” I was watching this series; it had a robot and this little boy named Will who was close to my age, so I kind of related to him. In the Sears wish book that year, they had the Jupiter 2 spaceship. I wanted the Jupiter 2 and I got it. It was under the tree on Christmas morning. It was huge . It was bigger than I expected. I lifted the top off and inside could see the different sections of the spaceship. It had the little rover. It had the robot and Will and Dr Smith. It was great. It lived up to my wish. There was only one problem with it. It was made out of styrofoam. Do you understand where I am going with this? I think it was like the styrofoam that you get when you’re going on a picnic and you don’t get to reuse it. And so, I had three younger siblings and when I would be at school, the Jupiter 2 crashed a lot. So I got exactly what I wished for and it lived up to expectations, but it didn’t last.

Sometimes you don’t get what you wish for. Sometimes you do, and it lives up to your expectations but then it doesn’t last. It seems that there’s a lot of things like that in life. Have you noticed that? At Christmas, we do this more often than we do it at other times of the year, because sometimes we will try to reproduce an earlier Christmas. We’re trying to some way recapture the way we felt perhaps earlier. So we wish for an earlier day and we are often disappointed or we wish for something brand new to spark a brand new start. We need a fresh start.

Often, instead of noticing the wonderful blessings you have, you start thinking about who’s not there. Maybe someone’s not there at Christmas that you’re accustomed to seeing. There are so many things about Christmas that brings to your mind things you’re wishing for.

That very first Christmas, there was a group of people who had one very important item on their wish list, and strangely enough, they had based it upon a star. Maybe you’ve heard this story. No, it’s not the story of Walt Disney’s Pinocchio. He was wishing upon a star. You remember Pinocchio, wishing upon a star, “When you wish upon a star, makes no difference where you are, anything your heart desires will come to you,” Pinocchio sings. I don’t know if his nose grew or not when he was singing that. And no, I’m not referring to the old English rhyme, “Starlight, star bright. First star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight.”

I don’t know what it is about humans. We’ve been wishing on stars ever since I can remember. Throughout history, people would wish on the First Star or a shooting star. I don’t know why we do that.

There was a group of men, called the wise men, in the Bible. The Magi, another name for the wise men, were doing more than wishing upon a star. They were following a star, looking for the one true born king. They were looking for the Messiah, the king of the Jews, the Promised One. I guess, at the heart of it, that’s what all wish lists are really based on. We’re all looking for someone or something to place our affection upon that will finally satisfy our deepest longing. I think that’s what it is. We keep on trying to put something in the place that only God can fill, and nothing quite does it.

You see, in the book of Matthew, the story of the birth of Jesus was told within the political backdrop of really two kingdoms. One was King Herod, who was the puppet king under Caesar and one was the one born king. Matthew tells this story about how the wise men came looking to worship the true king. I’m talking to you about this today. Here’s what I’m hoping for; every Christmas, we look at the Christmas story. Depending on how old you are, that’s probably how many times you’ve considered the Christmas story. My prayer for all of us today is, as we hear it, that we would engage it afresh and the Holy Spirit would speak to us. Would you be thinking about where you spend your worship? Do you spend it on the false King Herod or do you spend it on the true King Jesus?

Let’s look at the text today. Matthew 2:1-12 (ESV) 1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: 6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” 7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. This is God’s Word.

We’re looking for three steps on how to spend your worship on the true King this Christmas:

(1) Seek to worship the true King.

Let’s consider the first couple of verses. You’ll notice in verse one that there are two kings named. The first is Jesus, the one true king; the second is Herod. The wise men were seeking the king of the Jews. One other detail about these twelve verses is the word worship; it occurs there three times. Thus, the three steps that are considering, we want to unpack, is that word, worship, as it occurs in the text today. As we look at things like this, we often ask, what is this about? What’s this text about today? The word, worship, seems to be dominant in this passage. The wise men came to worship the one born king.

The word, worship, is the Greek word (προσκυνέω, prós, “towards” and kuneo, “to kiss”). It’s where we get the word prostrate. It also gives this idea to fall down and kiss the ground. It’s to humble oneself to the point where you’ve declared someone worthy of your deepest affection and your worship. This is what the wise men came with the intent to do; to worship.

Worship has this in mind – first of all, you notice that the person or something you’re pursuing is worthy. That’s the first thing; you look and see that it’s worthy. Then, you respond by giving what it’s worth. The wise men were coming to see and to worship. That’s the word we see in verse 2, verse 8 and again in verse 11.

Now Jesus, we notice in verse one, is born in Bethlehem. This is the first thing that Matthew, the writer of this gospel, records of Jesus. His name means God’s salvation. And then, we see this man named Herod. This is Herod the Great; he called the Great, not because he was so great, but because he built a lot of great buildings. He was a great builder. Herod was half-Jew, half-Idumean (Edomite). He was an Edomite from the land of Edom. This was a people group that was an enemy of the Jews. He was not the true king, not by birth, nor by lineage. Herod was a puppet king put in place by Caesar Augustus. He was put in that place through political favors. The reason he built so much was to honor Augustus Caesar. In fact, there was a huge port that he built on the Mediterranean Sea named Caesarea, named after Caesar. He was also known for super sizing the temple. He took the temple of Zerubbabel that had been built some 400 years earlier, which was the temple that was rebuilt after the Babylonian captivity. Solomon’s temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and rebuilt by Zerubbabel, but it was somewhat humble in comparison. But King Herod came along and super sized it and enlarged the Temple Mount. You might ask, why would this evil king do that? Well, he needed the religious leaders in his pocket. And so, by doing this, he secured his political position and also his religious position. Everything Herod did was a calculation and a scheme.

Herod was so paranoid. In his later days, he was known for killing members of his own family in order to secure his throne. He killed one of his wives. He killed several of his sons that he suspected were trying to overthrow him, to the point that Caesar often repeated a pun, saying, “It’s better to be Herod’s pig than to be Herod’s son.” That doesn’t sound like a pun in English, but in Greek, it was better to be his hooves than his whos. The Jews didn’t eat pork and that was the joke, right? That was Caesar’s joke. That wasn’t my joke.

So this is Herod; he’s an evil man. This is who the wise man come to know. Why did they go to Jerusalem? It’s the capital of Israel. Who are these wise men? In the greek, it actually doesn’t say wise. This is where we get the word Magi; has to do with this group of men who gathered in ancient Persia and studied the stars and the ancient writings. They had access to the Hebrew scriptures. How do we know that? Here’s how we know it.

The Babylonians had carried the Hebrews off into captivity and they had taken with them the Hebrew scriptures. And then Persia had conquered Babylon. And so they took all those people with them. One of those people that was chief among them was Daniel. Daniel was carried off; He served under King Cyrus of the Persians and Daniel may have been considered a Magi, one of the wise men that was trained up in the Babylonian Persian philosophies, but he was also an author of one of the books in the Old Testament.

So these Magi were serious dudes who had been watching the stars. They saw the special star that appeared one night, and it seemed to align with the prophecies of the Hebrew scriptures. One of them is Numbers 24:17 (NIV)” … A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel… And so there was a prophecy that a star would announce the coming of a king that would be born to Israel.” Perhaps they had access to this prophecy, but more than that, they, as students of the stars, may have seen an occurrence that only happens about every 800 years. Some have suspected that it was Haley’s comet, but the timing doesn’t work out. Some have suspected this star was a supernova, but again, it doesn’t match up with the facts of this star’s sudden appearance. The way it stays in the sky for a period of time, and then it seemed to move somehow. It was just doesn’t line up.

Some have, in modern days, looked at this occurrence. It happens where Jupiter and Venus come into alignment in what would have been to the West of those in the East. And it comes in alignment, at a certain time, every 800 years. So it merges and it looks like one star. You know, Venus is a planet, but they didn’t know that, right? They would have called it a star. It’s the brightest. It’s called the Evening Star. And if you put it with the largest planet and it looks like one star to the naked eye, it would be very, very bright.

Scientists have learned that it occurred about 2 BC., and then it wouldn’t have occurred again. So they worked that out; the math of that. Not only that, in 2BC, Jupiter and Venus came into alignment, and so did Regulus, the chief bright star from the constellation Leo the Lion. The Lion is the sign of the tribe of Judah. I don’t have time to keep going. I’ve studied this a little bit, and so there’s something going on here. Wouldn’t it be something if God, when He created the universe, he set the mathematics in place so that the announcement of the birth of His Son happened exactly as he predetermined it would, and he told the prophets it will be a star that will announce it. And then all of this, the constellation Leo, the star Regulus Jupiter and Venus. Jupiter, which is the king of the gods, Regulus, which means kingly and Venus, which means new life. All came into this together.

There’s a video you can watch on YouTube, where it’s based on Dr Eric Carlson’s work at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and Dr Rick Laura Larson, a law professor. I popped it up on the screen. The name of the one-hour video is “The Star of Bethlehem.” A lot of what I’m talking about is from the video.

Why do I go into details like this? I want you to understand something. This is not a fairy tale. This happened, and it has moved these wise men now. How many wise men were there? Three, right? We don’t know . We don’t know how many there were. We say three because there were three gifts. More than likely, there were at least thirty. But even more likely there were three hundred wise men. A whole caravan came; it was enough to disturb all of Israel. Three dudes on a camel probably wouldn’t shake the place up but three hundred cats coming in on a caravan from Persia would cause King Herod to say, “Come on in, come on in.” It’s probably a very impressive group of people. The Magi were known to have access to the throne room; even access to Caesar in Rome. They were influential men.

Are you seeking as they were seeking? As many have said, “wise men still seek Him.” Here’s what it says in Jeremiah 29:13-14 (NKJV) “13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.” Are you searching for him and find him in Jerusalem? They didn’t find him there in the big palace because Jesus, the one born king wasn’t born there. It seems like he would have been born in a palace, but he wasn’t. He was born in a stable. And as we will find out later here, he’s already grown up a little bit and he’s living in a house. So we’ll talk about that more in just a minute.

You know, Jesus came to die. This baby came to die in our place. And he came knowing that he was going to be an enemy of Herod. Herod, later in chapter two, tried to kill all the little boy babies under the age of two in hopes of killing Jesus and even later on, towards the end of Christ’s life. It was the Jewish soldiers that came to get him in the garden of Gethsemane. This encounter is found in John, chapter 18, when Jesus said to these soldiers that were looking for Him; He said, “I am He,” and they drew back and fell to the ground. So He asked them again, Whom do you seek? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I told you that I am He, so if you seek me, let these men go and that’s what he did. He came to die in their place so that those who came to kill him would not be after his disciples. In our case, He died in our place.

Why are you here today? Are you seeking Jesus? Is it for some sentimental reason; you know you are supposed to wear a red top and a white shirt or a green something? We say that we love the season and we have good reasons. I guess that’s a good wish item on your wish list; I just want to celebrate the sentimentality of it. You can find all the glitter, all the gold and wonder. But if you’re looking for Jesus, you’ll have to look in a more humble place and it’s a place he’s not. He wasn’t born in a palace. He was born in a stable. They don’t find him in Jerusalem. No, they have to go south, a couple of hours to Bethlehem.

Now that leads us to the next step:

(2) Recognize the opposition to your worship of the true king. You see, it’s one thing to go looking for Him. The wise man were following the star and they they said that this must be the Messiah the Jews have been looking for. Its the fulfillment, the whole thing of weight, where it’s at and everything. So they went to Jerusalem and He wasn’t there. And so they asked, where is He? It just so happens, you know, Herod didn’t know because he wasn’t really a serious follower of the Lord. So he asked his wise men, the ones he had, his chief priests and scribes (verse four) and they said he’s supposed to be born in Bethlehem, the Christ or the Messiah. It means the same thing. Christ means “Anointed one” in the Greek, Messiah, and in the Hebrew, means “Anointed one.”

The prophet Micah had said that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, so Matthew quotes it here in verse six. You can find it in Micah 5:2 (ESV) “2 [a] But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” He is quoting Matthew, making sure as he’s writing his gospel, that we know that Jesus is the fulfilled king of Israel. It was prophesied hundreds of years before.

Now, why do I include this reality? Why does Matthew include this? First, it’s because he wants us to know that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. There are over 300 of them. This is just one of them in Micah 5:2 that Jesus fulfilled.

How many of you got to pick the place you were born? If you raised your hand, I’d like to talk to you because I’ve never met anyone to raise their hand. I don’t think you know. He’s got to do that. So this is a really hard prophecy to fulfill but Jesus fulfilled all of them. This is just one of many; that’s why Matthew includes it so that we can be confident of this.

Notice a couple other details about these next couple of verses; verses four through eight. They knew where He was to be born, but they weren’t looking for Him. Isn’t it ironic that these Gentiles from Persia or Babylon, somewhere to the east of Israel, were seriously looking? The promised people of God weren’t looking. ? It’s a sad commentary. We have to be careful as believers that we are looking; they weren’t looking. They knew where to look but they weren’t looking. So, the Wise Men told them.

Herod summoned the Wise Men , in verse seven, secretly. You know, he’s a bad dude. He wants to do things. You see, the false King always wants to do things in secret, not out in the open. He secretly found out from the Magi what time the star appeared. They must have told him something like 18 months to two years. Gary, how do you know that’s what they told him? It’s because later we read that he sent and wanted to kill all the baby boys in Bethlehem under the age of two. He got his timing at that secret meeting. The only reason that Herod didn’t kill Jesus himself is because the Magi were warned in a dream not to go back in and tell him what they had discovered Jesus.

Listen to how he talks to them, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” What a dirty guy this guy is. His intentions are false. He started to pretend he’s their boss. They were already looking for Jesus, but he’s trying to take charge. Look, I made a deal with you. I told you about Bethlehem, so you go on and when you come back, report to me because I really want to worship him too. That’s what the false king does. That’s what the king of this world does. He tries to steal our worship. He tries to get us to worship him instead of Jesus.

Later on in Matthew, in just a couple of chapters, Jesus was challenged by Satan. In chapter four of Matthew, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. He said to Jesus, “This I will give you if you will bow down and worship me.” And Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan, for it is written, worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” So Jesus was challenged by this. So are we.

King Herod represents the world’s kingdom. He represents Satan. It may be even more troubling to us. It kind of represents you and I because we like to be king and queen. We want to be on the throne of our own lives. Don’t we want to be in charge? Herod represents that; the opposition that we feel, the temptation that we feel, is to take our affection, the things we love, the person we love and put it on things lower than Jesus. We like to worship and that’s what worship is; it’s wherever you put your affection. This is why the first commandment says that you’re to have no other gods before me.

This is why, when Jesus was asked what’s the greatest commandment He says, “ Love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul and all your strength.” Worship belongs to Jesus. But yet, like Herod, the world tempts us to spend it somewhere else. And so we’re spending like crazy, aren’t we? The world spends billions of dollars at this time of the year and often spends it on Herod things instead of Jesus things.

Here’s the third step:

(1) Respond to the true king with all your worship.

Recognize that there’s opposition. The wise man were looking for the real king. They experienced opposition in Jerusalem. They lost sight of the star, but now they’ve headed out towards Bethlehem.

Respond to the true king; verse nine through the end of verse twelve says, “ 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.”

I like the word, “behold,” here. We don’t use that word a lot, as I’ve mentioned in the past. We need to get that word back in our language. “And behold…” that means that something big is about to happen. “…that star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.”

Why did they lose sight of the star? If it’s this occurrence in the heavens, wasn’t it there? I don’t know. Maybe there’s something about going to the wrong place and looking for the wrong king makes you lose sight of how God’s trying to lead you. I don’t know what happened. They lost sight of the star. They took their eyes off of it. But the minute they got back on course and were going south, Bethlehem’s only a two hour walk south of Jerusalem. It’s not far. They were so close. They wasted their time stopping off in Jerusalem. But now they’re back on track and the star reappears to them. This suggests either they lost sight of it, or it’s a supernatural occurrence that no scientist can explain. And I’m okay with either one.

They see the star in verse 10. They respond; it says when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly, with great joy. In the Greek, it’s like joy, joy, joy, joy. I mean, it’s like quadruple joy. They saw the star, and so now they’re leaving the big city of Jerusalem. They’re going down towards Bethlehem, and they’re probably thinking, man, this is kind of a podunk little town. This is like going to Lizard Lick just down the road from here.

Bethlehem is known for raising little lambs in a little place there called Migdal Eder, which is where they would have the tower where the shepherds would watch to protect their flock from wolves. And they were known for raising Passover lambs, the little perfect spotless, without blemish, lambs because they were close to Jerusalem and they could carry them up there. They were known for that. So they were known for shepherds, which we see in Luke 2, were the ones who the angels appeared to. They were known for shepherds and flocks of sheep.

Jerusalem was known to be the breadbasket of Israel. If you read the book of Ruth, you can read where Ruth went there and gathered behind Boaz in the place for the lineage of the City of David.The town of David is in Bethlehem. What does Bethlehem mean? Do you know what that word means in Hebrew? It’s a Hebrew compound word. ( ) means house. If you’re a lady here named Beth, your name means house and then ( ) means bread. And so it’s a house of bread. That’s what Bethlehem means. What a perfect place for the bread of heaven to be born not in a palace but in the house of bread and a little humble stable in a little humble town. That’s where you’ll find Jesus. You know, you have to get over yourself to find Jesus. You might start out thinking I’ll find Him on my wish list in Jerusalem, but you won’t find Him there. You’ll find him in Bethlehem, in this small little place.

And how did the Wise Men respond? Well, they were full of joy. In verse 11, they were going into the house. I’m sorry. I’m messing up your Nativity scene on your mantel. They didn’t go to a stable. That is Luke 2; that’s when He is newborn. Now, He’s already been born, and He’s not a baby, He’s a child. It’s a different Greek word. It means he’s a little older, probably like toddler age. This is not the poetic version that we’ve built up; it is not the traditional scene. They go into a house and they see the child with Mary, his mother. He’s a little older now, and when they see Him, they immediately recognize His divinity. They recognize his royalty. They saw him. So that’s the first thing I would take note of. They saw him.

Have you seen Him? Have you seen the baby in the stable? Have you seen the child at the house? Have you seen the twelve year old in the temple, causing the wise scribes and rabbis to wonder where He got such wisdom? Have you seen Him walking the streets of the Via Dolorosa in downtown Jerusalem with the dusty feet? Have you seen Him take mud, spit upon it, form a paste and put it on a blind man’s eyes so that he could see? Have you seen Him calling the 12 disciples? Have you seen Him being taking up on a hill called Golgotha and being crucified? Have you seen Jesus? Have you looked for Him? Have you seen Him? The tomb is empty, He’s risen, He’s ascended to the father and He’s promised to come. Look at the arc of His life. Have you seen Him? Have you encountered Jesus ?

They encountered Him. He’s real; they saw Him. How did they respond? Don’t overlook the fact that they saw the child. But the wisdom available to you is you’ve seen the whole arc of his life. They saw him. How did they respond? They fell down. They collapsed and they worshipped him. These Magi, these men in their finery who had worked and put together a caravan and brought gifts and had great difficulties on the journey. It had taken them over a year, close to two years, to get here and they’re finally here. They collapsed and they worshipped him.

Can you imagine what Mary felt? I’m trying to put myself there. I don’t know. Jesus probably stood on His little toddler feet and received them with a smile on His face. That’s the kind of child I picture Him being here. I don’t think He was an introvert, clinging to his mother. I think He was ready to see these men. That’s just the way I see Him.

How do you see Him? Are you thinking, are you meditating on Him now? It says that they began to open their gifts. They turned to their servants on the camels, and they start rolling out everything and they give three gifts. What do they give? Matthew records it. Why is it recorded? Because it is significant. Gold fit for a King, frankincense, that odiferous, expensive fragrance fit for a priest and myrrh, that’s a surprise. Myrrh is what you put on a sacrifice. That’s what you put on someone you’re about to lay to rest in a grave. Myrrh is a strange gift to give a baby. It’s a strange gift to give a child; gold for a king and frankincense for a priest. Myrrh is for a savior; the one who would sacrifice all. I think God told them what gifts to bring .

Have you brought Him gifts? They were warned in a dream. Don’t go back to Herod. He’s the false king. So they obeyed. Have you obeyed? Have you brought Him gifts? Have you responded to Him? He’s giving you gifts. Have you made Him King? Have you recognized His priestly role and that He is the mediator between God and man? Have you recognized the myrrh? That he died in your place on the cross? This baby that came to the cradle has the cross over shadowing the cradle. He came to die in our place. They gave gifts fit for such a one.

Tim Keller says worship is pulling our affections off of our idols and putting them on God. You are going to worship something. You’re either going to worship. Herod are you’re going to worship Jesus. It’s not a matter of whether or not you will worship. It’s a matter of whom you will worship.

Who do you worship today? >You know, it’s okay to have a wish list. I think that’s okay. I have great memories from those days. But you’ll never find your heart’s desire until you place your desire, your affection on Jesus. You’ll never find it. Do you find King Jesus? When you do find Him, it’ll be like Augustine said. He says, “Thou has made us for thyself, oh God and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee.” We were made for Jesus and He came for us. He wants us. He desires us. He is the king. Do you seek him today?

Let’s pray, Lord, thank you for Jesus. Thank you that He’s the one born king. He is our king. We raise His banner. Lord, we set it up in our hearts. I pray for the person that’s here today that has yet to do that. It is the best gift you could give the Lord today. There’s really nothing you can give Him that he doesn’t already own , but does He have you? Would you give Him yourself? That might be the one thing that you could give Him that He desires most of all that you’ve yet to give. How can you do that? You can do this through prayer; you can pray right now, “Dear Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner . I’ve fallen short but I believe You died on the cross for me and for my sin, that You paid the price, that You were buried, that You were raised again on the third day and that You live today. Come and live in me; forgive me of my sin. Make me what You’d have me to be. I want to be a child of God. I want You as my Lord and Savior. If you’re praying that prayer, now believing, He will save you. Are you looking at Him again? Do you see Him? Truly look and experience the story afresh. Engage the story. Remember the battle for our worship. Pull our affections off of the false king and put them on Jesus afresh today. Will you do it right now? We’re pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.