What Present Will You Give Jesus This Christmas?

What Present Will You Give Jesus This Christmas?

It’s Christmas Day. I hope you are aware of that. I hope you’ve bought all your gifts. If you haven’t, then Seven Eleven is still open and they have some quality stuff.

Christmas is one of my favorite days of the year. I’d say it’s only second to my birthday. That’s because I celebrate my birthday the whole month of September. But Christmas is a very close second. Christmas consists of Food, Family, Football, Fun, and more Food. But Christmas started with none of the fanfare you see today. It started with a poor couple looking for a place to have their child in a small village that was know its bread. The place was Bethlehem, which means “house of bread” in Hebrew.

Let’s look at the story of the Magi. This story takes place some time after the birth of Jesus. He’s a young child now. Probably around two. He is in a house, not a stable. And the story features three gifts. Not three Magi. There could have ten or twelve Magi (Sages from the east) in a caravan that travelled from Persia (or India or China) to Bethlehem find Jesus. When the Magi arrived, they gave the young child three presents—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Traditionally, it is said that—

Gold was for his kingship,

Frankincense was for his priesthood,

and

Myrrh was for his coming death. Even as a child, Jesus was destined to die for humanity.

These presents beg the question for each of us today—What present will you give Jesus this Christmas?

Let’s read the story:

Matthew 2:1-12

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and 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.”

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When 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.’”

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He 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.”

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

This story of the Magi leads to three questions:

1. Whom do you seek?

2. How carefully are you seeking?

3. What present will you give Jesus this Christmas?

1. Whom do you seek?

When the Magi came to Jerusalem they asked a very important question, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?”

They knew exactly whom they were seeking. They were seeking Jesus.

You have to know what you want from life. What are you seeking? Are you seeking pleasure? Are you seeking money and possessions? Are you seeking social status? Are you seeking that next rung on the corporate ladder? Are you seeking the security of a relationship? What are you seeking?

You can have all these items and still not have true happiness, joy, purpose, and fulfillment.

That’s because Jesus provides true happiness, joy, purpose, and fulfillment. That’s one reason he came into the world. John 10:10 Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus came to give life to the full.

How? Jesus is eternal. He is our creator and knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows how to give our lives fullness. He heals our hurts and wounds. He forgives our sins. As the angel said to the shepherds, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

That’s who Jesus is.

He is Savior. He provides salvation.

He is Messiah, the one God sent into the world to give us direction and purpose.

He is Lord, Master, Ruler, who shows us how to live.

The Magi were asking the right question, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews.” And when they found him, they worshipped him and gave him presents.

If you want this Christmas to be the best Christmas ever, begin with Jesus. Find time on Christmas Day to focus on Jesus as Savior, Messiah, and Lord and seek to understand what that means for you and your life.

2. How carefully are you seeking?

Verse 8 reports the action of Herod to the Magi, “He (Herod) 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.’”

We know that Herod was not sincere. He wasn’t planning on worshipping this child; he was planning on murdering the child because he feared he was a future king.

Regardless of Herod’s order, the Magi were already planning on searching carefully for the child. They had travelled a long distance over a long time at great expense to find the child. They weren’t going to give up now. So they followed the star until it came to rest over the place where the child Jesus was.

They found what they were looking for. But it wasn’t an easy discovery. The discovery did not come without effort on their part. If they came from Persia, they travelled around 800 miles to find Jesus. They travelled by camel. Across the desert. This would have taken around eighteen months to two years. It would have been an expensive journey. They would have taken a caravan with tents and water and food and cooks to cook the food. And they would have taken security for protection from bandits. Imagine investing 18 months to two years of your life searching for a child. They did this because they knew something of the prophecies about this child, and they had seen his star.

How carefully are you seeking for Jesus?

Have you read the gospels? Have you carefully explored the gospels? That’s where you begin your search. I suggest you read them in this order—Mark, John, Matthew, John, Luke. Why? Because Mark was written first. They read John between Mark and Matthew and Matthew and Luke because John is so different from the other gospels.

Have you asked someone to help you carefully search for Jesus? They Magi travelled 800 miles, but when they arrived in Jerusalem they weren’t afraid to ask others, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?”

Jesus isn’t hiding in a corner. He can be found, but you have to be intentional in your search for him.

On Christmas Day take some time to carefully search for Jesus. Perhaps read the nativity stories in Matthew and Luke. When you find Jesus, you will discover what you have been searching for all your life—Purpose, Contentment, Peace, Joy, and Salvation.

3. What present will you give Jesus this Christmas?

Tomorrow morning we are going to open presents. It’s an exciting time. It’s exciting to watch our children open presents. It’s exciting to watch grandchildren open presents.

I was that kid that was so excited to see what I was getting on Christmas morning that I would get up during the middle of the night and go look under the tree. I’d unwrap my gifts and then wrap them back. I’d act surprised when I unwrapped them in front of my parents. But I already knew what the present was.

My Mom was a very smart, discerning woman. I suspect she knew I had already been up. But she never let on that she did. She rewarded my curiosity. I’ve always loved Christmas morning. I love the beautifully wrapped presents around the tree. But I love my birthday a bit more. LOL.

The Magi brought presents to Jesus. They didn’t come to Jesus asking for anything. They didn’t ask the child Jesus for a present.

Instead of thinking, “What will Jesus give me this Christmas?” We ought to be asking, “What will I give Jesus this Christmas?”

What present will you bring Jesus?

You know what he wants? THE PRESENT. He wants the RIGHT NOW in your life.

He wants your PRESENT. He wants YOU. He wants YOU in the PRESENT.

He wants you to live for him because by doing that you will realize who you really and are and what you were meant to be.

He wants your heart to teach you compassion.

He wants your mind to teach you single-mindedness.

He wants your life to teach you how to live a life worth living, a life that makes a difference in the world.

So on Christmas Day give Jesus a present. Give him THE PRESENT. And by doing do, you will have the greatest Christmas ever.

Happy Christmas everyone.

Advertisements