Monday, December 15, 2014

The Birth of Christ (Hearing from God)

In this study we read Matthew's account of the birth of Christ.  The discussion centers around : 1) how God talks to us, and 2) who were the Magi/Wise Men/3 Kings.

Series: Seeking God

Worship: - Lord You're Mighty by Youthful Praise
                  - Mary Did You Know by Ceelo Green
                  - Revelation Song by Lily Cruz Read

Read Matt 1:18 - 2:23 

As we read take note of:
1. how God spoke to them,
 2. anything that is different from what you thought about the birth.

 How did God speak to them? 

  • angels - to the Jews 
  • the star - for the Astrologers (Magi) 
  • dreams - 1) through an angel for Joseph 2) through the holy spirit for the Magi
  God will have a unique way of speaking to every person depending on how you're used to communicating.

  How does God speak to us? 
  • bible 
  • prayer 
  • other people 
  • dreams / Visions 
  • bringing things to your memory
  • voice 
  • inspired thoughts 
  • attention to something 

The Wise Men 

 How did they know about Jesus?
- from Daniel? Rab-mag (Jer 39:3,13) - chief of the magi
- Roman historians ( Suetonius and Tacitus) verify the fact that there was a belief “in the East” that a Messiah would be born in Judea.
- prophesies

How many wise men were there? 

It’s assumed 3 but the bible doesn’t actually say.

 Why 3? 

Psalms 72:10-11 (NIV) 
 10 The kings of Tarshish and of distant shores will bring tribute to him; the kings of Sheba and Seba will present him gifts.
  11 All kings will bow down to him and all nations will serve him.

 - 3 gifts were given

Were they kings? 

- Psalms 72:10 (above)
 - the gifts were gifts usually given to a king.

When did they get there? Were they present at the birth of Christ? 
Jesus was probably 2 years old when they arrived, and they were no longer in the stable, but in a house.

 - Matt 2:11 - they were in a house
 - Herod killed everyone two years and younger
 - probably not until he was around two years old

 Why did they come to worship Him? 

 The Prophesy of the Birth of Christ Was Widely Known

Num 24:17 17
"I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. "
A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, t the skulls of all the sons of Sheth.

NIV Luke 1:67-70 68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69 and hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70 as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began.

Acts 3:18-22 
 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer.
19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
20 and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you-even Jesus.
21 He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.

Acts 5:35-39
 "...take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing. After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed. And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it — lest you even be found to fight against God."

Food for thought:  Were the Wise Men the first Christians?

Closing Song:
- In by William McDowell

 © 2014 Michael Leadon

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