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The Worship of Jesus

The Worship of Jesus

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY THE REV W. COOKE, D.D.

MATTHEW ii. i - 1 1 .
BY THE REV W. COOKE, D.D.

MATTHEW ii. i - 1 1 .

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 20, 2013
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THE WORSHIP OF JESUSBY THE REV W. COOKE, D.D.ow when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise rrren from the east toJerusalem,saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews ? for we have seenHis star in the east, and are come to worship Him. When Herod themg had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem withhim. jA.nd when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of thepeopletogether, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And theysaid unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea : for thus it is written by theprophet, And thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the leastamong the princes of Juda : for out of thee shall come a Governor, thatshall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called thewise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. Andhe sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for theyoung child ; and when ye have found Him, bring me word a^ain, that1may come and worship Him also. When they had heard the king, theydeparted ; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went beforethem,till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they sawthe star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they weiccome into the house, they saw the young child with Maiy His mother,anilfell down, and worshipped Him : and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts ; gold, and frankincense, andmyrrh."MATTHEW ii. i - 1 1 .IT is along text; but I shall dwell chiefly upon the first,* second, ninth, tenth, and eleventh verses. We have
 
here a very instructive and interesting narrative. Let usglance at its leading features, and the great moral truthswhich it inculcates.Whence came these remarkable strangers ? The passagesays from the East, thus giving us the hemisphere, but notnaming the country ; from which we may infer that the placelay far away to the east of Jerusalem.52 THE WORSHIP OF JESUS.Who were these illustrious visitors ? Some of the ancientshave said that they were kings, and have even given us theirnames. That, however, I think, is extremely doubtful; butif they were not kings, they were unquestionably men of someimportance and station, for they had means ample enough,apparently, to defray the expenses of their long journey, and toprovide presents fit to lay at the feet of a sovereign. In ourtext they are called " wise men." In the original Greek it ismagoi ; and we are told that that term was originally andproperly applied to a distinct class of men who were thecounsellors of kings, and the spiritual advisers of the people.They were men devoted exclusively to the acquisition of learning and the promotion of religion. They were wisemen, and devout as well as wise. Such were the men whocame to visit Jesus.But what was the object of their visit ? They came not asambassadors having a political object ; they came not asmerchants to buy and sell and get gain ; they came notmerely as philosophers to explore the land of Judaea, andsolve some geographical problem ; but they came to see andto worship the infant Jesus, who was born King of the Jews.There was another king on the throne of Judaea at that timeviz., Herod the Great; but " great" as he was, they camenot to seek and to worship him. They evidently regardedthis Infant as greater than Herod, greater than the RomanEmperor, greater than any earthly monarch, and greater than
 
any human being ; but in what could His greatness consist ?What was it to be the King of the Jews ? The Jews at thattime were a conquered and despised people, and their countrywas only a small province of the mighty Roman Empire. Hisgreatness, therefore, could not consist in territorial possession.It must be something personal, something in Himself. Theremust be in that Infant attributes of greatness transcendingthose of any earthly being, and so great as to induce thesewise men to leave their retirement, undertake this long journey, and come to render Him homage. Well, the wholeis explained in one word : they regarded this mysteriousInfant as no other than the true Messiah that Mighty Potentate, that Illustrious Deliverer who had been foretold for fortycenturies, and expected by mankind at large. It is veryremarkable that at that time there was a very vivid andgeneral expectation throughout all the East that some greatTHE "WORSHIP OF JESUS. 53personage was about to appear in Judaea. Tacitus and Suetonius, Koman historians, both state this fact. Josephus, aJewish historian, asserts the same thing, and even the Evangelist Luke tells us that " the people were in expectation,and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he werethe Christ or not." ow, these wise men partook of thisgeneral expectation ; and they had also a distinct revelationgiven to them that the Christ was come, and that the star wasthe sign of His appearance.Perhaps you may ask me, From what source could theGentiles obtain so much information respecting Christ ?I reply, they obtained it from the study of the Old Testament prophecies, which were widely diffused among thevarious nations of the earth ; and God had also given tothem personally a distinct revelation, causing them to knowthat the Messiah had actually come, and had appointed thatmysterious sign in the heavens to guide them to the veryplace where He might be found.

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