Excerpt from The Class and the Desk: A Manual for Sunday School Teachers; New Testament Series, Gospels and Acts
The heavenly guide - The oriental pilgrims - The devout worshippers.
I. The heavenly guide. A star. All things made for him. Nature serves its King. Its most glorious objects are employed as symbols of Christ, and may remind us of him. (the sun, the star, the vine, the rose, &c.) his star - bright and particular among other stars, as Christ among men. The greatest glory of the stars is that one thus served the Lord. Our greatest honour, too, to serve and point to him. It was seen in the East. In heathen lands, whither the glory of Christ shall extend. This far-seen star a type and a prophecy (isa. Lx. 3; 2 Pet. I. 19; Isa. Ix. 2; Num. Xxiv. 17 The star as a guide was suited to the wise men. God merci fully condescended to meet them in their own way. Science the handmaid of religion. May our studies ever lead to Christ. Infinite wisdom employs strange instruments for human instruction.
II. The oriental pilgrims. They came from the East. Precise part not known. It is said (by Suetonius) that throughout the East there was a general and settled belief, that about this time one would come from J udea who would subdue the world. Perhaps the scattered Jews had circulated the prophecies concerning the Messiah. Hence the preparation of the minds of the Magi. Dwelling among idolaters their faith is conspicuous. They were faithful to their light (acts x. Some of their neighbours might think them foolish for travelling so far on such an errand. But their wisdom consisted in following a guide that pointed to Jesus. May such wisdom be ours. We have a better guide; and Teachers, Sec.
III. The devout worshippers. Does not their sincere worship of this little child rebuke us for our half-hearted homage to the great King, and risen Saviour? It was practical. They brought the best they had. Fit presents for a king (gold), a priest (frankincense), and a Saviour (myrrh). It was self-denying, involving a. Long and dangerous journey (the country much infested by robbers), and the surrender of valuable things. What does our worship cost us? Christ is not far from any one of us. He has come to us. How many of us would willingly undertake such a journey, if that were the only way of seeing or finding Jesus? (matt. X. 37.
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