Sermon 967. The Sages, The Star, and The Savior
DELIVERED ON LORD'S-DAY MORNING, DECEMBER 25, 1870
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East, and are come to worship Him." Matthew 2:2.
THE Incarnation of the Son of God was one of the greatest events in the history of the universe. Its actual occurrence wasnot, however, known to all mankind, but was specially revealed to the shepherds of Bethlehem and to certain Wise Men of theEast. To shepherds-the illiterate, men little versed in human learning-the angels in choral song made known the birth of theSavior, Christ the Lord. And they hastened to Bethlehem to see the great sight, while the Scribes, the writers of the Lawand expounders of it, knew nothing concerning the long-promised birth of the Messiah. No angelic bands entered the assemblyof the Sanhedrim and proclaimed that the Christ was born.
And when the chief priests and Pharisees were met together, though they gathered around copies of the Law to consider whereChrist should be born, yet it was not known to them that He was actually come, nor do they seem to have taken more than apassing interest in the matter, though they might have known that then was the time spoken of by the Prophets when the greatMessiah should come. How mysterious are the dispensations of Divine Grace. The base things are chosen and the eminent arepassed by! The advent of the Redeemer is revealed to the shepherds who kept their flocks of sheep by night, but not to theshepherds whose benighted sheep were left to stray. Admire, then, the Sovereignty of
The glad tidings were made known also to Wise Men, magi, students of the stars and of old Prophetic books from the far-offEast. It would not be possible to tell how far off their native country lay. It may have been so distant that the journeyoccupied nearly the whole of the two years of which they spoke concerning the appearance of the star. Traveling was slow inthose days, surrounded with difficulties and many dangers. They may have come from Persia, or India, or Tartary, or even fromthe mysterious land of Sinim, now known to us as China. If so, strange and uncouth must have been the speech of those whoworshipped around the young Child at Bethlehem, yet needed He no interpreter to understand and accept their adoration.
Why was the birth of the King of the Jews made known to these foreigners, and not to those nearer home? Why did the Lord selectthose who were so many hundreds of miles away, while the children of the kingdom, in whose very midst the Savior was broughtforth, were yet strangely ignorant of His Presence? See here again another instance of the Sovereignty of God. Both in shepherdsand in Eastern magi gathering around the young Child, I see God dispensing His favors as He wills and, as I see it, I exclaim,"I thank You, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because You have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealedthem unto babes. Even so, Father. For so it seemed good in Your sight."
Herein we see again another instance of God's sovereign will-for as of old there were many widows in Israel in the days ofElijah the Prophet, but unto none of them was Elijah sent, save unto the woman of Sarepta. So many there were who were calledwise men among the Jews, but unto none of them did the star appear. But it shone on Gentile eyes, and led a chosen companyfrom the ends of the earth to bow at Emmanuel's feet.
Sovereignty in these cases clothed itself in the robes of mercy. It was great mercy that regarded the low estate of the shepherds,and it was far-reaching mercy which gathered from lands which lay in darkness a company of men made wise unto salvation. Mercywearing her resplendent jewels was present with Divine Sovereignty in the lowly abode of Bethlehem. Is it not a delightfulthought, that around the cradle of the Savior, as well as around His Throne in the highest Heaven, these two attributes meet?He makes known Himself-and here is mercy. But it is to those whom He has cho-
sen-and here He shows that He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and He will have compassion on whom He will havecompassion.
We will now endeavor to learn a practical lesson from the story of the Wise Men who came from the East to worship Christ.We may, if God the Holy Spirit shall teach us, gather such instruction as may lead us also to become worshippers of the Savior,and joyful believers in Him. Notice, first, their enquiry-may many of us become enquirers upon the same matter-"Where is Hethat is born King of the Jews?" Notice, secondly, their encouragement-"We have seen His star." Because they had seen His starthey felt bold to ask, "Where is He?" And then, thirdly, their example-"We have come to worship Him."
I. THEIR ENQUIRY-"Where is He?" Many things are evident in this question. It is clear that when the Wise Men thus enquired,there was in their minds awakened interest. The King of the Jews was born, but Herod did not ask, "Where is He?" until hisjealousy was excited, and then he asked the question in a malicious spirit. Christ was born at Bethlehem, near Jerusalem.Yet throughout all the streets of the holy city there were no enquirers, "Where is He?" He was to be the Glory of Israel,and yet in Israel there were few, indeed, who, like these Wise Men, asked the question, "Where is He?"
My dear Hearers, I will believe that there are some here this morning whom God intends to bless, and it will be a very hopefulsign that He intends to do so, if there is an interest awakened in your mind concerning the work and Person of the IncarnateGod. Those who anxiously desire to know of Him are but a slender company. Alas, when we preach most earnestly of Him, andtell of His sorrows as the Atonement for human sin, we are compelled to lament most bitterly the carelessness of mankind,and enquire mournfully-
"Is it nothing to you, all you that pass by; Is it nothing to you that Jesus should die?"
He is despised and rejected of men. Men see in Him no beauty that they should desire Him. But there are a chosen number whoenquire diligently, and who come to receive Him. To these He gives power to become the sons of God. A happy circumstance itis, therefore, when there is interest evinced. Interest is not always evinced in the things of Christ, even by our regularhearers. It gets to be a mere mechanical habit to attend public worship. You become accustomed to sit through such a partof the service, to stand and sing at such another time, and to listen to the preacher with an apparent attention during thediscourse.
But to be really interested, to long to know what it is all about-to know especially whether you have a part in it- whetherJesus came from Heaven to save you. Whether for you He was born of the virgin-to make such personal enquiries with deep anxietyis far from being a general practice-would God that all who have ears to hear would hear in Truth. Wherever the Word is heardwith solemn interest, it is a very encouraging sign. It was said of old, "They shall ask the way to Zion with their facesthitherward."
When a man listens with deep attention to the Word of God, searches God's Book, and engages in thoughtful meditation withthe view of understanding the Gospel, we have much hope of him! When he feels that there is something weighty and important,something worth the knowing in the Gospel of Jesus, then are we encouraged to hope good things of him.
But in the case of the Wise Men we see not only interest evinced, but belief avowed. They said, "Where is He that is bornKing of the Jews?" They were, therefore, fully convinced that He was the King of the Jews, and had lately been born. As apreacher I feel it to be a great mercy that I have to deal generally with persons who have some degree of belief concerningthe things of God. Would to God we had more missions to those who have no sort of faith and no knowledge of Christ. And maythe day come when everywhere Jesus Christ shall be known. But here at home with the most of you we have something to beginwith.
You do believe somewhat concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was born King of the Jews. Set much store by that which you havealready believed. I count it no small advantage to a young man to believe his Bible is true. There are some who have a hardfight to reach so far as that, for infidel training has warped their minds. It is not, of course, an advantage which willsave you-for many go down to Hell believing the Scriptures to be true-and thus they accumulate guilt upon themselves fromthat very fact.
But it is a fine vantage ground to occupy, to be assured that you have God's Word before you, and not to be troubled withquestions about its Inspiration and authenticity. O that you may go from that point of faith to another, and become a heartybeliever in Jesus! These Wise Men were so far advanced that they had some leverage for a further lift of faith, for they believedthat Christ was born, and born a King. Many who are not saved, yet know that Jesus is the Son of God. We have not to arguewith you this morning to bring you out of Socinianism-no, you believe Jesus to be the Divine Savior.
Nor have we to reason against doubts and skepticisms concerning the Atonement, for these do not perplex you. This is a greatmercy. You certainly stand in the position of highly favored persons. I only trust you may have Divine Grace given you toavail yourselves of the favorable position in which God has placed you. Value what you have already received. When a man'seyes have long been closed in darkness, if the oculist gives him but a little light he is very thankful for it-he is hopefulthat the eye is not destroyed, that perhaps by another operation further scales may be removed- and the full light may yetstream in upon the darkened eyeballs.
So, dear Friend, be thankful for any light. O Soul, so soon to pass into another world, so sure to be lost except you havethe Divine Light, so certain to be cast into the outer darkness, where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth-bethankful for a spark of heavenly light! Prize it, treasure it, be anxious about it that it may come to something more, andwho knows but yet the Lord will bless you with the fullness of His Truth?
When the great bridge across the Niagara was made, the difficulty was to pass the first rope across the broad stream. I haveread that it was accomplished by flying a kite, and allowing it to fall on the opposite bank. The kite carried across a pieceof string, then to the string was tied a line, and to the line a rope, and to the rope a stronger rope, and by-and-by Niagarawas spanned, and the bridge was finished.
Even thus, by degrees, God works. It is a fair sight to see in human hearts a little interest concerning Divine things, alittle desire after Christ, a feeble wish to know who He is and what He is, and whether He is available to the sinner's case.This hunger will lead to a craving after more, and that craving will be followed by another, till at last the soul shall findher Lord and be satisfied in Him. In the Wise Men's case, therefore, we have, as I trust we have in some here, interest evinced,and a measure of belief avowed.
Furthermore, in the case of the Wise Men, we see ignorance admitted. Wise men are never above asking questions, because theyare wise men-so the Magi asked, "Where is He?" Persons who have taken the name and degree of wise men, and are so esteemed,sometimes think it beneath them to confess any degree of ignorance, but the really wise think not so. They are too well instructedto be ignorant of their own ignorance. Many men might have been wise if they had but been aware that they were fools. Theknowledge of our ignorance is the doorstep of the temple of knowledge.
Some think they know, and therefore never know. Had they known that they were blind, they would soon have been made to see,but because they say, "We see," therefore their blindness remains upon them. Beloved Hearer, do you want to find a Savior?Would you gladly have all your sins blotted out? Would you be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ? Then blush not to enquire-admitthat you do not know. How should you know if Heaven teach you not? How should any man attain the knowledge of Divine things,unless it be given him from Above?
We must all be taught of the Spirit of God, or be fools forever. To know that we need to be taught of the Holy Spirit is oneof the first lessons that the Holy Spirit Himself teaches us. Admit that you need a Guide, and diligently enquire for one.Cry to God to lead you, and He will be your Instructor. Be not high-minded and self-sufficient. Ask for heavenly light, andyou shall receive it. Is it not better to ask God to teach you, than to trust to your own unaided reason? Bow, then, the knee-confessyour aptness to err, and say, "What I know not, teach me."
Notice, however, that the Wise Men were not content with admitting their ignorance, but in their case there was informationentreated. I cannot tell where they began to ask. They thought it likeliest that Jesus would be known at the metropolitancity. Was He not the King of the Jews? Where would He be so certain to be known as at the Capital? They went, therefore, toJerusalem. Perhaps they asked the guards at the gate, "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?" and the guards laughedthem to scorn, and replied, "We know no king but Herod."
Then they met a loiterer in the streets, and to him they said, "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?" and he answered,"What care I for such crazy questions? I am looking for a drinking companion." They asked a trader, but he sneered, and said,"Never mind kings, what will you buy, or what have you to sell?" "Where is He that is born King of
the Jews?" said they to a Sadducee, and he replied, "Be not such fools as to talk in that fashion, or if you do, pray callon my religious friend the Pharisee."
They passed a woman in the streets, and asked, "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?" but she said, "My child is sickat home, I have enough to do to think of my poor babe. I care not who is born, or who may die beside." When they went to thevery highest quarters, they obtained but poor information, but they were not content till they had learned all that couldbe known. They did not know, at first, where the new-born King was, but they used every means to find Him and asked informationon all hands.
It is delightful to see the holy eagerness of a soul which God has quickened. It cries, "I must be saved. I know somethingof the way of salvation, I am grateful for that, but I do not know all I want to know, and I cannot rest satisfied till Ido. If beneath the canopy of Heaven a Savior is to be found, I will have Him. If that Book can teach me how to be saved, Iwill turn its pages day and night. If any book within my reach may help me, I will spare no midnight oil if I may but in thereading find out Christ my Savior.
"If there is one whose preaching has been blessed to the souls of others, I will hang on his lips, if perhaps the Lord maybe blessed to me, for Christ I must have-it is not I may or I may not have Him, but I must have Him! My hunger is great forthis Bread of Heaven, my thirst insatiable for this Water of Life. Tell me, Christians, tell me, wise men, tell me, good men,tell me any of you who can tell-where is He that is born King of the Jews?-for Christ I must have, and I long to have Himnow."
Notice further, that in reference to these Wise Men from the East, there was for their search after Christ a motive declared."Where is He," said they, "that we may go and worship Him?" Ah, Soul, and if you would find Christ, let it be your motivethat you may be saved by Him, and that from now on and forever you may live to His Glory. When it comes to this, that youdo not hear the Gospel merely as a habit, but because you long to obtain its salvation, it will not be long before you willfind Him. When a man can say, "I am going up to the House of God this morning, and O may God meet with me there," he willnot long go there in vain.
When a hearer can declare, "As soon as I take my seat in the congregation, my one thought is, 'Lord, bless my soul this day.'" He cannot for long be disappointed. Usually in going up to God's House we get what we go for. Some come because it is thecustom, some to meet a friend, some scarcely know why. But when you know what you come for, the Lord who gave you the desirewill gratify it. I was pleased with the word of a dear sister this morning when I came in at the back gate. She said to me,"My dear Sir, my soul is very hungry this morning. May the Lord give you bread for me."
I believe that food convenient will be given. When a sinner is very hungry after Christ, Christ is very near to him. The worstof it is, many of you do not come to find Jesus. It is not He you are seeking. If you were seeking Him, He would soon appearto you. A young woman was asked during a revival, "How is it you have not found Christ?" "Sir," she said, "I think it is becauseI have not sought Him." It is so.
None shall be able to say at the last, "I sought Him, but I found Him not." In all cases at the last, if Jesus Christ is notfound, it must be because He has not been devoutly, earnestly, importunately sought. For His promise is, "Seek, and you shallfind." These Wise Men are to us a model in many things, and in this among the rest-that their motive was clear to themselves,and they avowed it to others. May all of us seek Jesus that we may worship Him! There was about the Wise Men an intense earnestnesswhich we would delight to see in any who as yet have not believed in Jesus.
They were evidently not triflers. They came a long way. They underwent many fatigues, they spoke about finding the new-bornKing in a practical, common-sense way. They were not put off with this rebuff or that. They desired to find Him, and findHim they would. It is most blessed to see the work of the Spirit in men's hearts impelling them to long for the Savior tobe their Lord and King. And so to long for Him that they mean to have Him, and will leave no stone untamed, by the Holy Spirit'shelp, but what they will be able to say, "We have found Him, of whom Moses in the Law, and the Prophets did write, and Heis become our salvation."
Am I, at this moment, speaking to anybody in particular? I trust I am. Some years ago there was a young man, who, upon sucha morning as this-cold, snowy, dark-entered a House of Prayer, as you have done today. I thought, as I came here, this morning,of that young man. I said to myself, "This morning is so very forbidding that I shall have a very small congregation, butperhaps among them there will be one like that young man."
To be plain with you, it comforted me to think that the morning when God blessed my soul, the preacher had a very small congregation,and it was cold and bitter, and therefore I said to myself this morning, "Why should not I go up merrily to my task-and preachif there should only be a dozen there?" For Jesus may intend to reveal Himself to some one as He did to me! And that someonemay be a soul-winner, and the means of the salvation of tens of thousands in years to come. I wonder if that will occur tothat young man yonder, for I trust he has the enquiry of the Wise Men upon his
I trust he will not quench those desires which now burn within him, but rather may the spark be fanned to a flame, and maythis day witness his decision for Jesus. Oh, has the Lord looked on that young woman, or on that dear child, or on yonderaged man? I know not who it may be, but I shall indeed bless God this morning if the cry may be heard from many a lip, "Sir,what must I do to be saved? Where is He that is born King of the Jews?"
II. Having spoken of their enquiry, I shall now notice THEIR ENCOURAGEMENT. Something encouraged these Wise Men to seek Jesus.It was this, "We have seen His star." Now, the most of you seekers after Christ have a great encouragement in the fact thatyou have heard His Gospel. You live in a land where you have the Scriptures, where the ordinances of God's house are freelydispensed. These are, as it were, Jesus Christ's star. They are meant to lead you to Himself. Here, observe, that to see Hisstar was a great favor. It was not given to all the dwellers in the East or West to see His star.
These men, therefore, were highly privileged. It is not given to all mankind to hear the Gospel, Jesus is not preached, even,in all our streets. His Cross is not lifted high even in every place that is dedicated to His worship. You are highly favored,O my Friend, if you have seen the star, the Gospel, which points to Jesus! To see the star involved these Wise Men in greatresponsibility. For, suppose they had seen His star and had not set out to worship Him? They would have been far more guiltythan others, who, not having received such an indication from Heaven, would not have been able to set it at nothing. Oh, thinkof the responsibility of some of you, who in your childhood heard of a Savior, for whom a mother has wept many tears-you knowthe Truth-in the theory of it at any rate. You have the responsibility of having seen His star.
The Wise Men did not regard the favor of seeing the star as a matter to be rested in. They did not say, "We have seen Hisstar, and that is enough." Many say, "Well, we attend a place of worship regularly, is not that enough?" There are those whosay, "We were baptized, Baptism brought regeneration with it. We come to the sacrament, and do we not get Grace through it?"Poor Souls! The star which leads to Christ they mistake for Christ Himself, and worship the star instead of the Lord. O maynone of you ever be so foolish as to rest in outward ordinances! God will say to you, if you depend upon sacraments or uponpublic worship, "Bring no more vain oblations, incense is an abomination unto Me. Who has required this at your hands, totread My courts?"
What cares God for outward forms and ceremonies? When I see men putting on white gowns, and scarves and bands, and singingtheir prayers, and bowing and scraping, I wonder what sort of god it is they worship! Surely he must have more affinity withthe gods of the heathen than with the great Jehovah who has made the heavens and the earth! Mark you well the exceeding gloryof Jehovah's works on sea and land! Behold the heavens and their countless hosts of stars! Listen to the howling of the windsand the rush of the hurricane-think of Him who makes the clouds His chariot, and rides on the wings of the wind-and then considerwhether this Infinite God is like unto that being to whom it is a matter of grave consequence whether a cup of wine is liftedin worship as high as a man's hair or only as high as his nose!
O foolish generation, to think that Jehovah is contained in your temples made with hands, and that He cares for your vestments,your processions, your postures, and your genuflections! You fight over your ritual-even to its jots and tittles do you considerit. Surely you know not the glorious Jehovah if you conceive that these things yield any pleasure to Him. No, Beloved, wedesire to worship the Most High in all simplicity and earnestness of spirit, and never to stop in the outward form, lest webe foolish enough to think that to see the star is sufficient, and therefore fail to find the incarnate
Note well, that these Wise Men did not find satisfaction in what they had themselves done to reach the Child. As we have observed,they may have come hundreds of miles, but they did not mention it. They did not sit down and say, "Well, we have journeyedacross deserts, over hills, and across rivers, it is enough." No, they must find the new-born King, nothing else would satisfythem. Do not say, dear Hearer, "I have been praying now for months, I have been searching
the Scriptures for weeks, to find the Savior." I am glad you have done so, but do not rest in it. You must get Christ, orelse you will perish, after all your exertion and your trouble. Jesus you want, nothing more than Jesus, but nothing lessthan Jesus.
Nor must you be satisfied with traveling in the way the star would lead you, you must reach HIM. Do not stop short of eternallife. Lay hold on it, not merely seek it and long for it, but lay hold on eternal life, and do not be content until it isan ascertained fact with you that Jesus Christ is yours. I should like you to notice how these Wise Men were not satisfiedwith merely getting to Jerusalem. They might have said, "Ah, now we are in the land where the Child is born, we will be thankfuland sit down."
No, but "Where is He?" He is born at Bethlehem. Well, they get to Bethlehem, but we do not find that when they reached thatvillage they said, "This is a favored spot, we will sit down here." Not at all, they wanted to know where the house was. Theyreached the house, and the star got over it. It was a fair sight to see the cottage with the star above it, and to think thatthe new-born King was there-but that did not satisfy them. No, they went right into the house. They rested not till they sawthe Child Himself, and had worshipped Him! I pray that you and I may always be so led by the Spirit of God that we may neverput up with anything short of a real grasping of Christ, a believing sight of Christ as a Savior, as OUR Savior, as our Savioreven now.
If there is one danger above another that the young seeker should strive against, it is the danger of stopping short of ahearty faith in Jesus Christ. While your heart is tender like wax, take care that no seal but the seal of Christ is set onyou. Now that you are uneasy and out of comfort, make this your vow, "I will not be comforted till Jesus comforts me." Itwould be better for you never to be awakened than to be lulled to sleep by Satan-for a sleep that follows upon a partial convictionis generally a deeper slumber than any other that falls upon the sons of men. My Soul, I charge you get to the blood of Christ,and be washed in it!
Get to the life of Christ, and let that life be in you, that you are, indeed, God's child. Put not up with suppositions, benot satisfied with appearances and perhaps! Rest nowhere till you have said-God having given you the faith to say it-"He lovedme and gave Himself for me, He is all my salvation and all my desire." See, then, how these Wise Men were not made by thesight of the star to keep away from Christ, but they were encouraged by it to come to Christ. And may you be encouraged, dearSeeker, this morning, to come to Jesus by the fact that you are blessed with the Gospel. You have an invitation given youto come to Jesus. You have the motions of God's Spirit upon your conscience, awakening you. O come, come and welcome! Andlet this strange winter's day be a day of brightness and of gladness to a many a seeking soul.
I have turned my thoughts on this last head into verse, and I will repeat the lines-
where is Christ my King? /languish for the sight,
Gladly would I fall to worshipping, For He's my soul's delight. Himself, Himself alone,
1 seek no less, no more,
Or on His Cross, or on His Throne,
I'd equally adore.
The Sages saw His star,
But rested not content,
The way was rough, the distance far,
Yet on that way they went.
And now my thoughts discern
The sign that Christ is near,
With love unquenchable Iburn,
To enjoy His company.
No star nor heavenly sign
My soul's desire can fill,
For Him, my Lord, my King Divine,
My soulis thirsting still.
III. And now we shall conclude, by considering THE EXAMPLE of these Wise Men. They came to Jesus, and in so doing, they didthree things-they saw, they worshipped, they gave. Those are three things which every Believer here may do this morning again,and which every Seeker should do for the first time.
First, they saw the young Child. I do not think they merely said, "There He is," and so ended the matter, but they stood stilland looked. Perhaps for some minutes they did not speak. About His very face I do not doubt there was a supernatural beauty.Whether there was a beauty to everyone's eye I know not, but to theirs there was assuredly a superhuman attraction. The IncarnateGod! They gazed with all their eyes. They looked, and looked, and looked again. They glanced at His mother, but they fixedtheir eyes on Him.
"They saw the young Child." So, too, this morning let us think of Jesus with fixed and continuous thought. He is God, He isMan, He is the Substitute for sinners. He is willing to receive all who trust Him. He will save, and save this morning, everyone of us who will rely upon Him. Think of Him. If you are at home this afternoon, spend the time in thinking upon Him. BringHim before your mind's eye, consider and admire Him. Is it not a wonder that God should enter into union with man and cometo this world as an Infant? He who made Heaven and earth hangs on a woman's breast for us!
For our redemption the Word was made flesh! This Truth will breed the brightest hope within your soul. If you follow thatBabe's wondrous life till it ends at the Cross, I trust you may there be able to give such a look at Him that, like when Moseslifted up the serpent in the wilderness, and they that looked were healed, so you, looking, may be healed of all your spiritualdiseases! Though it is many a year since I first looked to Him, I desire to look to Jesus again. The incarnate God! My eyesswim with tears to think that He who might have crushed me into Hell forever, becomes a young Child for my sake!
See Him, all of you, and seeing, worship. What did the Wise Men do next? They worshipped Him. We cannot properly worship aChrist whom we do not know. "To the unknown God" is poor worship. But, oh, when you think of Jesus Christ, whose goings forthwere of old from everlasting! The eternally-begotten Son of the Father! And then when you see Him coming here to be a Manof the substance of His mother, and know and understand why He came and what He did when He came-then you must fall down andworship Him-
"Son of God, to You we bow, You are Lord, and only You. You the woman's promised Seed; You who did for sinners bleed."
We worship Jesus! Our faith sees Him go from the manger to the Cross, and from the Cross right up to the Throne, and therewhere Jehovah dwells, amidst the insufferable Glory of the Divine Presence stands the Man, the very Man who slept at Bethlehemin the manger! There He reigns as Lord of lords. Our souls worship Him again. You are our Prophet, every word You say, Jesus,we believe and desire to follow-You are our Priest, Your sacrifice has made us clean-we are washed in Your blood. You areour King! Command, we will obey. Lead on, and we will follow. We worship You. We should spend much time in worshipping theChrist, and He should ever have the highest place in our reverence.
After worshipping, the Wise Men presented their gifts. One broke open his casket of gold, and laid it at the feet of the new-bornKing. Another presented frankincense-one of the precious products of the country from which they came. And the other laidmyrrh at the Redeemer's feet. All these they gave to prove the truth of their worship. They gave substantial offerings withno stingy hand.
And now, after you have worshipped Christ in your soul, and seen Him with the eye of faith, it will not need that I shouldsay to you, give Him yourself, give Him your heart, give Him your substance. Why, you will not be able to help doing it! Hewho really loves the Savior in his heart cannot help devoting to Him his life, his strength, his all. With some people, whenthey give Christ anything, or do anything for Him, it is dreadfully forced work.
They say, "The love of Christ ought to constrain us." I do not know that there is any such text as that in the Bible, however.I do remember one text that runs thus-"The love of Christ constrains us." If it does not constrain us, it is because it isnot in us. It is not merely a thing which ought to be, it must be. If any man loves Christ, he will very soon be finding outways and means of proving his love by his sacrifices. Go home, Mary, and fetch the alabaster box, and pour the ointment onHis head, and if any say, "Why this waste?" you will have a good reply, you have had much forgiven you, and therefore youlove much.
If you have gold, give it. If you have frankincense, give it. If you have myrrh, give it to Jesus. And if you have none ofthese things, give Him your love-all your love, and that will be gold and spices all in one! Give Him your tongue, speak ofHim. Give Him your hands, work for Him. Give Him your whole self. I know you will, for He loved you, and gave Himself foryou. The Lord bless you, and may this Christmas Lord's-Day morning be a very memorable day to many out of the crowd assembledhere. I am surprised to see so vast a number present, and I can only hope the blessing will be in proportion, for Jesus' sake.Amen.