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The Shepherds and the Magi

God’s message for everyone – I love you and have given my Son for you

Text: Luke 2:8-20 & Matthew 2:1-11


The Shepherds and The Magi

Why these two groups?


Footnotes:

The Christmas Story includes the account of two vastly different groups: The shepherds and the wisemen (Magi).

Traditionally our manger scenes include Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, various farm animals, & some shepherds

& wise men. This scene is not historically accurate, as the wisemen did not arrive until some time later when Mary & Joseph were living in a house. Nevertheless, the stories of the shepherds & the wisemen are intimately connected with the narrative of Jesus birth. Why these two groups?

How were they different? How were they the same? And what was God doing when He chose to reveal His Son to these two groups? See their differences….


GEOGRAPHICAL

The Shepherds The Magi

Nearby Far Away


ETHNICITY

The Shepherds The Magi

Jewish Persian

Indian

Arabian


RELIGION

The Shepherds The Magi

Jewish Persian Mystics

(God’s Covenant People) Pagans

Zoroastrians


EDUCATION

The Shepherds The Magi

Very Limited Years of Study

(Religious Essentials Only) Men of Wisdom

Teachers/Professors


ECONOMICS

The Shepherds The Magi

Poverty Wealthy

Indentured Service Financially Secure


SOCIAL STATUS

The Shepherds The Magi

Low Class Elite

Outcast Politically Connected

People of Influence


What Was God Doing?

God was

REVEALING HIS SON

To the WORLD


Footnotes:

These two groups could not have been more different from one another. Yet these are the people to whom God chose to reveal His Son. One truth we can glean for this is that God’s revelation is for all mankind. Your status, nationality, education, even your personal sinful past are no barriers to God’s revelation! Jesus came to save every sinner that would believe in Him! Let’s consider how the shepherds and the Magi responded to God’s revelation.



THE RESPONSE TO REVELATION

The Shepherds The Magi

Sought Him Sought Him

Shared about Him Rejoiced to find Him

Glorified & Praised God Worshiped Him


Footnotes:

For three weeks we have been looking at key characters in the Christmas story, and how God has revealed Himself to mankind through His Son Jesus. How will you respond to God’s revelation of love toward you through giving His Son Jesus?



WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE

TO GOD’S REVELATION?

Do you…

SEEK HIM

REJOICE IN HIM

SHARE ABOUT HIM

WORSHIP HIM

PRAISE HIM

GLORIFY HIM


Footnotes:

To everyone:

Today do you understand: #1 That Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, and is truly the Son of God? #2 That He lived a pure and sinless life so that He could be the spotless lamb and a sufficient sacrifice for sin?

#3 That He was crucified on a Roman cross to satisfy God’s righteous wrath against our sins? #4 That He rose from the grave, and walked again among men, and then ascended to God the Father? #5 That He is coming again to bring judgment on the earth and mankind?

You must believe in the life, work, death, and resurrection of Jesus as sufficient to reconcile you to God, and the Holy Spirit will give you new life. You will be born again, a new person. Your past will never again be held against you. The enmity that separated you from a Holy God has been dealt with, and you will be reconciled to God in a new deep and personal love relationship with Him, if you will fully and wholly place all your hope and trust in the person of Jesus and what He has done for us.

To those who call themselves Christians:

Think back to the first times you began to understand God’s love.

Recall the time when you turned to God for salvation.

Remember the early days of your walking with God.

How does your life reflect the impact of God’s revelation of himself in Jesus Christ in your life today?

The Shepherds went back to work, glorifying and praising God.

The Magi gave Him their treasure, and returned to their country (and kept silent? Or shared their great adventure?)

How have you responded to God’s revelation, and your salvation in Jesus, this week, this season? In the balance of your life?


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