BORN TO BE WORSHIPPED
Sunday Morning Sermon
May 2, 1999
Fair Ave Baptist Church
Text: Matthew 2:1-12
It all happened in Bethlehem. Never was a town so small the scene of such notable events.
Bethlehem is a small village about five miles south of Jerusalem.
It was in the providence of God that Mary and Joseph were brought to Bethlehem by the decree of Caesar that all the world should be taxed.
It was in this little village of Bethlehem, foretold by Micah the prophet, that Jesus had been born.
It was to Bethlehem that the lowly shepherds were directed by the angels that sang on the hillsides to mark the birth of our Lord.
It was to Bethlehem that the wise men from East finally made their way. They came by way of Jerusalem, but on to Bethlehem to find the end of their search - the One born King of the Jews.
From this interesting incident, we learn something very significant about our Lord.
He was born to be worshipped.
The wise men came looking for Jesus for this very purpose.
1. JESUS CHRIST WAS BORN TO BE WORSHIPPED BY ALL MEN
This was the very purpose of God for the Lord Jesus Christ - to be worshipped by all mankind.
The appearance of the wise men at the feet of the baby Jesus demonstrates that this was the purpose of God.
Who were these wise men?
Tradition has built up some interesting, however, fictitious stories about them.
Actually, we know very little about them. The truth is we do not know that they were kings or that there were three of them.
We do know they were part of the famous wise men of the East. They probably came from Persia or some such eastern country. They were a people who studied the stars.
No doubt that these men had come in contact with the Jews who had been scattered during their numerous captivities throughout the centuries.
No doubt that these wise men had become familiar with the history and HOPE of Israel.
No doubt they were familiar with the Jews hope in the appearance of a Messiah.
Now, by a miraculous heavenly sign, the Lord let them know of the birth.
All we know about the sign is that they called it “his star.”
And it was through this star that God called the wise men to come worship the Babe.
But while God was beckoning to the wise men through a star, He was beckoning to the people of Israel through the Scriptures.
When the wise men came to Jerusalem, it was not that difficult to find out where Jesus was to be born. They knew. They cited the word of Micah, there in VERSE 6 of our text, “And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.”
God’s calling of these Gentile wise men to come worship the baby Jesus reveals to us the purpose of God.
It was the will of God that Jew and Gentile, yes, all men come to bow before the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is a part of God’s will for your life that you should bow before the Lord Jesus in worship.
The method of God in seeing this purpose is revealed.
He uses special signs and the Scriptures.
We cannot read far in the pages of the Inspired Word of God without realizing that God wants us to prostrate ourselves in worship before the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is the theme of the entire Word of God.
But God also calls through special signs.
To the wise men it was a star that appeared in their sky. This was the kind of sign these star-gazers would understand.
It will probably be something much different in your life.
But God is at work in your like and mine seeking to bring us to the feet of Jesus.
He was born to be worshipped by you and I.
2. HE WAS BORN TO BE WORSHIPPED IN HUMILITY
The action of the wise men is very revealing concerning the true nature of worship.
In our text, VERSE 11, we read, “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him.”
Enough time had passed since the birth of Christ that Joseph and Mary had found a house to live in.
It was probably a small house.
But the surroundings did not hinder the worship of these men.
They had traveled hundreds of miles so when they see Him they fall down.
Then they worshipped.
Several years ago, I preached a series of messages on this matter of worship.
I discussed the fact that we use the world “worship” so lightly that it has lost much of its meaning to us.
The word used by Matthew means, “to bow the face to the ground before someone.”
It means to be awed and to adore.
It means to have such reverence that you prostrate yourself before Him.
At least two things were involved in this act by the wise men.
First, they were awed by His WORTH.
Worship is recognizing His worth.
What they had heard about Him in Jerusalem had only confirmed what they had felt in their heart.
Surely when God gave a star to mark the birth of such a One, He must be worthy of their worship.
In spite of the unimpressive circumstances in which they found Jesus, they prostrated themselves before Him.
It is interesting to note that Matthew specifies that they worshipped Him - NOT Mary His mother.
Ladies and gentlemen, our generation needs to rethink our attitude toward Jesus.
If He was all that He claimed to be, He must be worshipped, not just admired or imitated.
Everyone wants to imitate Him, but the wise men correctly bowed before Him in worship.
Second, another thing entered into their action.
First, they saw His worth,
They saw their own WORTHLESSNESS.
They were wise men,
They were men of high standing,
But when they stood before the King of Kings, they had no standing,
in fact, they didn’t stand,
they fell on their face in worship.
This incident should speak to us concerning our presence in a house of worship.
Often, we hear a service called the Sunday Morning Worship Service.
But, do we worship?
NOT unless we see His worth and our worthlessness!
Not unless we prostrate ourselves before Him in reverence, adoration and awe.
If we were truthful, we must admit that few such meetings result in real worship.
The evidence that we do not worship is clear enough.
We can not have such a profound experience and it not make a difference in the goal and direction of our lives.
3. JESUS CHRIST WAS BORN TO BE WORSHIPPED THROUGH OUR GIFTS
Notice VERSE 11, “And then they opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
These wise men were men of wealth.
They had brought along with them treasures.
In order to express the true worship which they felt in their hearts they opened their treasures, and gave Him gifts.
They gave Him expensive gifts - gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
These were the kind of gifts presented to royalty.
The WORTH of their gifts is impressive. They gave out of their treasures. They gave of their best.
If we were honest, we must admit that more often than not we are guilty of presenting the Lord gifts from our trash-cans instead of our treasures.
We give Him the left-overs.
We bring our old worn out clothing to the church to be given to the poor and call it a gift to the Lord.
We give the change that is in our pocket in the offering plate when it comes by and call it a gift to the Lord.
We fill our houses with finery, but just any old thing will do for the house of God.
A man’s worship may be measured by the worth of his gift.
Notice also the WILLINGNESS of their gifts which were also impressive.
No demand was made of them. No request was presented to them. Their gifts were not the result of a pressure campaign.
No, it was the natural expression of their devotion to the Lord.
We have been talking of giving for several weeks now.
How much would we give if we gave like these wise men?
How much would we give if we allowed our love for the Lord to control our stewardship?
What does worship have to do with giving?
The law of worship in the Old Testament gave specific instruction that no man was to come to worship empty-handed.
In the Old Testament when a man presented himself at the temple or tabernacle to worship the living God, the worshipper always brought an offering with him.
Jesus Christ was born to be worshipped.
But all men did not worship Him.
The scribes and people of Jerusalem did like so many in our day, they just ignored Him.
Herod did like others in our world, he sought to kill Him.
But, praise the Lord, the wise men worshipped Him.
What are we going to do with the Saviour?