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TEXT: Matthew 2:1-12

MESSAGE: The Decision to Worship

“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.”  – Matthew 2:11

“In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship…is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things…then you will never have enough…Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level, we all know this stuff already…Worship power — you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart — you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. And so on.” — David Foster Wallace (commencement address given in 2005 at Kenyon College)

Richard Keyes explains idol worship this way…“ An idol is something within creation that is inflated to function as God. All sorts of things are potential idols, depending only on our attitudes and actions toward them…Idolatry may not involve explicit denials of God’s existence or character. It may well come in the form of an over-attachment to something that is, in itself, perfectly good…An idol can be a physical object, a property, a person, an activity, a role, an institution, a hope, an image, an idea, a pleasure, a hero – anything that can substitute for God.

 

What does it look like to worship Jesus? (1. It’s a Disruption; 2. It’s a Dethroning; 3. It’s a Decision)

      1. It’s a Disruption (v. 2-3)

“…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.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him…”

 

”We must not think that the Magi’s question meant, Where is the one born to become king of the Jews? but, Where is the one born king of the Jews? His kingly status was not conferred on him later on; it was his from birth.”— D.A. Carson

 

“Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” – Psalm 2:1-6

 

“Our rebellion against God is total. Apart from the grace of God…is no glad submission to the sovereign authority of God.” – John Piper

 

       2. It’s a Dethroning (v. 6)

‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’ (v 6)

“…shepherds…represent those from a lower economic class in first-century Palestine.” – Steve Mathewson

 

“When God came to earth in the form of Jesus Christ, He was born in the feed trough. When His parents took Him to circumcision, their offering was two pigeons—the offering that was accepted for those on the lowest rung on the economic ladder. Jesus was essentially homeless. He said, “Foxes have holes, birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” He rode into town on a borrowed donkey. He ate His last meal in a borrowed room. He was buried in a borrowed tomb. He was poor!” – Timothy Keller

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” – 2 Corinthians 8:9

 

         3. It’s a Decision (v. 11-12)

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.”

 

“Gifts of men from distant lands 

Prophesy the story 

Gold a King is born today

Incense God is with us 

Myrrh His death will make a way

And by His blood He’ll win us”

— Joy Has Dawned (Keith Getty; Stuart Townend)

 

TAKEAWAYS: How do I worship Jesus as King?

  1. Admit I need a King
  2. Identify personal idols 
  3. Stop defending my kingdom 
  4. Lay my treasure at Jesus’ feet

 

“I wish I could be alive when Christ returns because I would like to be the first earthly monarch to take my crown & lay it at His feet.”

– Queen Elizabeth of England