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December 24, 2017
ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
FAITHFUL SEEKERS OF THE KING MINISTRY INVOCATION
O God: You have spoken to us with power in your Words. We receive those
words as law to our being. In Jesus Name Amen.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW AND UNDERSTAND
Contrast the role and motives of the magi with the role and motives of King
Herod; Appreciate the majis deep commitment to honor Jesus; and commit to
honor God on a daily basis by spending time in His Presence.
THE APPLIED FULL GOSPEL DISTINCTIVE
We believe in the indwelling of the Holy Ghost for all believers and that the
Holy Ghost verifies and validates the Believer as part of the Body of Christ.
Key Verse Matthew 2:11
Lesson Scripture Matthew 2:1-12 Matthew 2:112 (NKJV)
Visit of Wise Men
2 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 have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him. 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And
when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired
of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 So they said to him, In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
6 But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.
7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what
time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, Go and search
carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me,
that I may come and worship Him also. 9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen
in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had
come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and
worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him:
gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they
departed for their own country another way.
Verse 1"Now when Jesus; who has just been identified with Christ. In this
chapter, the narrative employs only those terms (Jesus, young Child) which
bystanders might have used. Was born in Bethlehem. The First Gospel, if
taken alone would give the impression that Joseph had no previous connection
with Nazareth. About the place where Joseph and Mary lived before the birth
of Jesus, the evangelist did not concern himself. Of Juda. For the evangelists
purpose it was most important so to define it as to exclude Bethlehem of
Zebulun. The inhabitants of Bethlehem of Juda, a market town of a fruitful
(Ephratah) district, live chiefly by agriculture, but also for several centuries have
manufactured images of saints, rosaries, and fancy articles.
From the House of Bread came forth the true Bread. In the days of
Herod the king. Herod the Great and Herod Agrippa II. We are almost
compelled by this phrase alone to recognize the date of Christs birth as falling
in the lifetime of Herod the Great. Herod the Great died in the spring of A.U.C.
750, our B.C. 4, and as our Lord was born at least forty days earlier, for the
purification in the temple must have taken place before Herods massacre of the
innocents, he cannot have been born later than the very beginning of B.C. 4, or
the end of B.C. 5. Indeed, upon the most natural deduction, he must have been
born some months earlier. Behold, there came Wise Men from the East. The
true order, as given in the Revised Version, lays the emphasis on the office, and
in a subordinate degree on the home of the strangers"Wise Men from the East
came. It was, perhaps, at first used with special reference to astrologers and
interpreters of dreams, and, passing from Babylonia to Media, it became the
name of the Median priestly order. Of the number and rank of those who now
came absolutely nothing is known. These Magi spontaneously submit to the
Babe. From the East. The proper home of the Magi would thus be Media, and,
from the length of time employed on their journey (ver. 16), it is probable that
by the East we must here understand Media or some other part of the
kingdom of Parthia, into which Media had been mostly absorbed, and in which,
in fact, the Magi were now greatly honored. To Jerusalem. The capital, where
this King would reign, and where information about his birth would most
naturally be obtained.
Verse 2Saying. The inquiry was on their lips at the moments of their
appearance. Where is? Not whether there is. The Magi show no signs of
doubt. He that is born King of the Jews; i.e. he that is born to be King of the
Jews. Whether he is king from the very moment of his birth is not stated. The
rendering of the Revised Version margin, Where is the King of the Jews that is
born? would imply this. With either form the bystanders could hardly help
contrasting him with their then ruler, who had acquired the kingship after years
of conflict, and who was of foreign extraction.
King of the Jews Notice: (1) This was, perhaps, Herods exact title. (2) They do
not say king of the world. They accept the facts that the Jews alone expected this
king, and that according to the more literal interpretation of the Jewish
prophecies the homage of the world would be rendered to him as the Head of
the Jewish nation. (3) The title is not used of our Lord again until the Passion,
where it is only used by heathen (4) The Jews themselves preferred the term,
King of Israel to which passages Luke 23:37, placing the gibe in the soldiers
mouth, forms a significant contrast). The term Jews made them only one of
the nations of the earth; Israel reminded them of their theocratic privileges.
For. They state the reason of their certainty. We have seen at home. His star.
In the way of their ordinary pursuits, they learned of Christ. What this star really
was has been the subject of much consideration without any very satisfactory
result. The principal theories are: (1) It was the conjunction of Saturn and
Jupiter, which took place in May to July and again in September, B.C. 7. (2) It
was the rising of Sirius on the same day in the fifth, fourth, third, and second
years B.C. (3) It was some strange evanescent star such as Kepler saw in 16034.
(4) Astronomy can suggest nothing which satisfies all the conditions, and the
appearance must have been strictly miraculous. Since Professor Pritchards
article in the Dictionary of the Bible, this last has been generally accepted in
England. A further question isHow came they to identify the star as his? i.e.
What made the Magi connect the coming of the King of the Jews with a star?
and what made them consider that this particular appearance was the one they
expected? The latter part of the question can hardly be answered, except on the
supposition that the star that they saw was in itself so extraordinary as to
convince them that no greater star could be looked for. To the former part
various answers have been given. (1) Balaams prophecy (Numb. 24:17) was
understood literally, and the knowledge of it, with its misinterpretation, had
spread to the Magi. (2) They had learned, by intercourse with Jews that these
latter expected a great King, and they had applied to his coming, as to all events,
the science that they themselves practiced. They believed fully in astrology, and
the Divine ordering that a star should appear to them was a condescension to
the then state of human knowledge. To worship him. Not as God, but as Lord
and King (ch. 4:9, note). The prostration of themselves bodily before him was
not a Greek or Roman, but an Eastern, and it is said especially a Persian, form
Verse 3"When; and when, Revised Version. There is a contrast between the
eager question of the Magi and the feelings of Herod. Herod the king. In the
true text the emphasis is not on the person (as in ver. 1, where the date was all-
important), but on the office as then exercised. The king visibly regnant is
contrasted with him who was born to be King. Heard. Through some of his
many sources of information, for there were spies set everywhere. He was
troubled; perplexed, agitated. Fully in accordance with his jealous and
suspicion character. For he had already slain, as actual or possible candidates
for the throne, five of the Maccabean princes and princesses, including his
favourite wife Mariamne (thus extirpating the direct line) and also his two sons
by Mariamne. Josephus mentions a prediction of the Pharisees towards the end
of Herods life, that God had decreed that Herods government should cease,
and his posterity should be deprived of it. The reason for the inhabitants of
Jerusalem feeling troubled is generally explained, by their fear, wh