Updated: Dec 28, 2021
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, 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." -Matthew 2:1-2
Take a minute to envision the nativity scene. I'm sure you see baby Jesus in the manger, surrounded lovingly by Mary and Joseph. And I'm sure you also imagine the three wise men and their gifts. Yet, Scripture does not explicitly list three wise men.
Because there were only three gifts, we naturally conclude that there must have been three wise men. Three contributions, however, do not equal three wise men. Therefore, the truth is there could have been any number of wise men present.
We know the wise men came from the far East, and they were men who spent their whole lives studying the stars. Some people believe that Daniel, from the Book of Daniel, Chapter 7, left behind the understanding that a divine king would be born in his homeland. This prophecy may have been what provoked the wise men to go on their journey when they saw the star. We know for sure that the wise men do get to Jerusalem, and there they encounter an unbelievably wicked man named King Herod, who tries to knock the wise men off course.
King Herod wasn't the only adversity the wise men faced trying to get to Jesus. They had to overcome many barriers to worship Jesus. One of these barriers was distance. They may have spent years traveling and traveled hundreds if not thousands of miles to get to Jesus. This trek wasn't easy to travel by any means; it was challenging. They also had to overcome a barrier of danger. The road they traveled was known for occupying men who were thieves and murders. And they were traveling with precious gifts.
We want to worship Jesus, too, just like the wise men, but we face modern-day barriers in our own lives. They don't look the same as the wise men's barriers. It isn't necessarily problematic for us to find a Church where we can worship freely without danger. One barrier we face is discouragement. So many people in this season have their heads down with the weight of everything going on in our world. We are walking through tough times, and it's hard to process all the negativity we face. Discouragement sources itself by any number of things, a surging global pandemic, natural disasters, a family member fighting a life-threatening illness, the loss of a job, or a financial crisis. There is no shortage of discouragement -- and it beats us down! That's why our church focuses so hard on encouraging the discouraged! God still intends to be God in your life! Wise men keep seeking him!
Another modern-day barrier we face is "distraction." Can you relate to this? Every time you sit down to read the Bible, something distracts you. Every time you log on to church online to worship, something distracts you. Even sitting in church, you're distracted by the things around you. Distraction is a tactic of the enemy. He wants you to lose your focus. He wants you to become dismayed by everything coming at you. He knows that if he can distract you enough, your life will become Spiritually paralyzed.
What kind of barrier are you facing?
The wise men made it through their barriers, and I believe you will too! Do not let any barrier: discouragement, disappointment, distraction, or dismay keep you from arriving at the feet of Jesus. Give him your whole heart and your complete worship as you go all in and surrender to the Lord!
Take a look at your heart this Christmas. Inspect your heart to find the barrier you're facing. What is hindering your worship? Everyone faces these barriers, and it's easy for us to make excuses, but don't give up! Leave those excuses in 2021, and enter 2022 at the feet of Jesus Christ, fighting every barrier that comes against you!
I invite you to view this message in its entirety at this link: https://youtu.be/WSQtN6GI4iU
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