Matthew 2:4
When he had assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired where the Christ was to be born.
Near in Privilege, Far from PietyRev. T. R. Stevenson.Matthew 2:4
The StarJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 2:1-10
The Happy Misnomer of the Wise Men of the EastP.C. Barker Matthew 2:1-12
The Pilgrimage of the MagiW.F. Adeney Matthew 2:1-12
Childhood of JesusMarcus Dods Matthew 2:1-23

The term "king" suggests the three forms in which the Kingship of Christ may be presented:

(1) the King he was to be;

(2) the King he seemed to be;

(3) the King he proves to be.

For introduction show what associations of kingship could have been in the minds of the Eastern Magi. The idea of the uprising of world-conquerors had been made familiar by the stories of Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander, and Caesar; and we have the authority of the pagan writer, Suetonius, for the fact that "an ancient and constant opinion had become prevalent all over the East, that it was contained in the fates that at that time certain ones arising from Judaea should gain universal dominion." No doubt it is largely true that prophecy tends to fulfil itself, but in this case the fulfilment took such shape as most clearly indicated Divine control and direction. With this idea in the minds of the Magi, they would easily be guided by their astrological observations. What they looked for was, in some sense, a universal King; and that, in the fullest sense, Jesus was.

I. THE KING HE WAS TO BE. There was nothing evidently kingly about the circumstances and surroundings of this Babe. Yet the Magi expected him to turn out a King. But what sort of a King was it expected that he would be? Here follow three lines:

1. The line of Scripture prophecy, noticing all figures of Messiah as King.

2. The line of Scripture, and after-Scripture, history. Especially dealing with Daniel's presentations, and showing how the success of the Maccabees fixed the form of the Messianic hope.

3. The line of world-conquering kings outside Scripture history. It is well to fix Very clearly that the King universally expected was a delivering, conquering, redeeming King; and such Jesus was, in high, holy, spiritual senses.

II. THE KING HE SEEMED TO BE. Hanging on a cross, an inscription over his head, "This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." His Kingship seemed a miserable, hopeless failure; a claim which men scorned with a cross.. For that inscription was Pilate's scorn of the pretensions of his spiritless prisoner, and Pilate's insult of those who had made him act as if the claim were of importance. What would you say of Christ's Kingship, judging by the appearances?

III. THE KING HE PROVES TO BE. "Exalted a Prince and a Saviour."

1. The first of men in every department is king in that department.

2. From our Lord's answer to Pilate, we learn that the truth-bearer is a king.

3. Our Lord dealt with sin and its physical result, disease, in truly kingly fashion.

4. Because his work is accepted, he is entrusted with mediatorial sovereignty, is King of the spiritual world, King of souls, dispensing pardon to sinners and grace to saints. - R.T.

Priests and scribes.
Some that are best acquainted with the gospel are practical strangers to it. They are like one who should pore over a map, mastering its geography; marking each sea, lake, river; understanding the position of every range of mountains; learning the names of all the localities indicated, but never visiting them. A living author, describing his journey to the falls of Niagara, says: "I met with a gentleman who told me that he had walked from Boston, a distance of seven hundred miles, to see Niagara. "When within seven miles, he heard what he thought might be the roar of the torrent, and asked a man who was at work on the road if this was so. The man replied that he didn't know; it might be, but he had never been there himself. Yet he had lived within sound of it all his life!" Wonderful stupidity, this! Who does not reprobate such folly? Nevertheless, it is nothing — absolutely nothing — compared with the direr folly which may be witnessed any day that we choose to look around us. Numbers are within sound of " the river of the water of life " without an actual, personal experience of its benefit.

(Rev. T. R. Stevenson.)Like in this to those who built the ark for Noah, providing others with a refuge, themselves perished in the flood; or like to the stones by the road that show the miles, but themselves are not able to move.

( Augustine.)

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