Download Message Notes
Matthew 2:1-8 (NIV) 1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 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.’” 7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
God wants to turn the wisdom of this world on its head.
1 Corinthians 1:20-21 (NIV) Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
What I see in the Bible:
1. The world’s wisdom is dated.
Jeremiah 8:9 (ESV) The wise men shall be put to shame; they shall be dismayed and taken; behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord, so what wisdom is in them?
Isaiah 40:8 (ESV) The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
2. The world’s wisdom is fickle.
2 Timothy 1:13-14 (NIV) What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
1 Timothy 6:20-21 (ESV) O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.
Galatians 1:6-10 (NIV) 6I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! 10Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
2 Timothy 2:25 (NLT) Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.
3. The world’s wisdom is shallow.
1 Corinthians 1:26-28 (CSB) Brothers and sisters, consider your calling: Not many were wise from a human perspective, not many powerful, not many of noble birth. Instead, God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world—what is viewed as nothing—to bring to nothing what is viewed as something.
Isaiah 53:2-3 (NIV) He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Philippians 2:10-11 (NKJV) …that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Growing Deeper Together
(Small Group Discussion Questions)
Use these points throughout the week as part of your quiet time, in your small group, or over coffee with a friend to help you apply what you learned in today’s message.
- Reread Matthew 2:1-8. What do the star, the Magi, the gifts, the homage, the hostility, and the prophecy teach us about the significance of Jesus? In your journey toward God, how are you like the Magi? Unlike them? Have you had to leave anything to follow Jesus? What is the “gold, frankincense, and myrrh” in your life? How have you offered these to Jesus?
- What can you see in our culture that has changed over time (clothing, décor, trends, etc.). What do you see in the Bible that has changed? What have people changed about how they apply the Bible? Where do you see that as being right or correct and where do you see that as being incorrect? Why?
- Shane mentioned open- and closed-handed issues of our faith. What are closed-handed issues in your mind? What biblical basis do you find for them? What is open-handed to you? Why? How do you explain why to someone who sees it differently?
Pastoral study references, attributions, & recommendations: Various Messages 1992-1999, by Tim Keller, Redeemer Church