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Travis Dean's Sermons
A Wise Man’s Gift -- Matthew 2:1-12
by Travis Dean
December 25, 2010
(Come in, looking around) Well, your clothes are…different! (Act surprised) Never mind that, maybe you can help me. Has anyone seen my camel? I was headed back home after a long journey to this little town to see this little baby in a manger…. Anyway, on my way home, I woke up one morning and my camel was gone! I’ve been following his tracks…. Oh, here he is! (Hold up stuffed camel)
Well, you’re probably wondering who I am, so let me introduce myself. My name is Gaspar. I have spent my whole life studying the stars. Does anyone here study the stars? They’re incredible! Everything in the sky has such order and design. The more I observe the heavens the more convinced I am that there is a Master Designer.
Anyway, let me tell you about the night that changed my life forever. My fellow doctors and I were scanning the heavens. Suddenly this strange light appeared. We had never seen anything like it before. An overwhelming conviction came over us that this light had a special significance. We didn’t know what it meant, but we searched our textbooks for a clue. We didn’t find anything that made sense until we read something in the Jewish law. Let me read it for you. This scroll has brought me a lot of inspiration these last few months. (Read Number 24:17) Did you catch that? It says a star would come out of Jacob. Jacob represented the Jewish people.
Now let me tell you at thing or two about the Jews. They’re a different kind of people. They migrated into our country from out west towards the great Mediterranean Sea. I have a lot of respect for them. In fact, one of the greatest doctoral students in my country was a Jew. I’ve got to read you another passage from my scroll which mentions him by name. (Read Daniel 2:48) Daniel served Yahweh, the God of the Jews. He gave Daniel incredible wisdom. That’s why he was promoted to the top and put in charge of all the wise men. So, I have a lot of respect for Jews. They are a little different, though. Every seventh day they take off from work. And they have a different kind of diet. They don’t eat certain kinds of meat.
Anyway, when my comrades and I read about this star in the Jewish law, we suddenly knew what this star meant! The scroll said this star represented a ruler. This strange light in the heavens meant that a King had been born in the native country of the Jews. Now you have to understand, the Jews were from a country hundreds of miles away. We knew it would be a long journey. But my comrades and I knew that we must go see this new-born King. We took these gifts - gold, frankincense, and myrrh - fitting for royalty.
So, off we went, mile after mile, following the star. I never would have made it without this guy (point to the camel). Since we were following the star, we could only travel at night. This slowed us down a bit, from the typical pace. We had hundreds of miles to go and many weeks of travel, so we brought along our scroll of the Jewish writings and spent the daytime rehearsing the Scriptures. Every day we became more convinced that not only had a King been born, but a Savior.
Early one morning we arrived on the top of a hill over-looking Jerusalem, the capital city of the Jews. While we were enjoying the view, the star faded right out of the sky. Well, the only thing that could mean is that we had arrived at the city of the new-born King! We went straight through the city gates and into the Jewish temple. We started asking people about the new-born King, but nobody seemed to know anything about Him! It was unbelievable! Even the priests and experts in the Jewish law acted annoyed by our inquiries. When the king of that place heard about our search, he called us in for a private interview. He wanted to know when we first saw the star. So, we told him. He acted very interested and sent us to Bethlehem, telling us to return and report the exact location of the child, so that he too could worship Him. Well, that was all fine, but Bethlehem? It didn’t make sense. The star had disappeared over Jerusalem! That is the capital of the Jews. That’s where we expected to find the new-born King! And now we were being sent to Bethlehem?
Well, that night as we left Jerusalem, guess what we saw? The star! It reappeared! So, we followed it. And sure enough, it took us to Bethlehem! In fact, it took us right to the exact house. We were quite surprised at the poverty of the place, but knew this was the place of the King. When we were invited inside, we saw a very ordinary Child. But something stirred inside of me the moment I saw Him. It seemed that I was on holy ground. I prostrated myself on the ground. We presented our gifts. Yet in that moment they seemed so inadequate. It seemed that in this little Child I was seeing the God who created the heavens! My entire being responded in worship. I gave Him not only my gift but my whole being.
This experience has changed my life. I am now a believer in the God of the Jews. He is the God who made the earth and all the starry heavens. He is the Creator God. And from what I have learned, this God is coming back. He won’t be coming as a baby this time. He’ll be coming as the King of Kings and Lord of lords. My advice to you is to keep looking for Him. Give yourself to Him. He is coming soon.