July 27, 2024

"the search of the wise"

Scripture Passage: Matthew 2:7–12



A video introduction using illustrations, personal stories, metaphors, or active learning examples to begin the discussion.





After the video, prompts are supplied for thinking and sharing with others personal perception and experience. This opening activity prompts participants to think about and relate to the topic, and to share with others. 



People are searching for something worthwhile. Rank the following proverbs from around the world that are the most meaningful for you.

What do you think is “worthy” about these statements, and what is missing?

  1. “There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out.” —Russian proverb
  2. “The pen is mightier than the sword.” —English proverb
  3. “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” —Japanese proverb
  4. “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” —African proverb
  5. “Turn your face toward the sun and the shadows fall behind you.” —Maori proverb
  6. “The tree with most leaves will not necessarily produce juicy fruit.” —Brazilian proverb
  7. “A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.” —Chinese proverb
  8. “Even though you know a thousand things, ask the man who knows one.” —Turkish proverb
  9. “Even from a foe a man may learn wisdom.” —Greek proverb
  10. “A mother understands what a child does not say.” –Yiddish proverb



The Bible discussion begins with a careful reading of the whole passage, either from your own Bibles, or from the provided images below.

Then participants are to ask:

  1. What is going on in this passage of Scripture?
  2. What are the key words and phrases? Highlight them.
  3. Why do you think this passage is included in the Bible?
  4. What does it contribute to our “knowing Christ” and “living in Christ”?


Today’s Scripture passage: Matthew 2:7-12

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.


Compare the two searches in this story. Read the whole event in Matthew 2:1-12 and consider what prompts people to search for the baby, "the one who has been born king of the Jews" (Matthew 2:2):

  • Magi are proactively searching because they study, are curious, and have enough conviction to make a journey to worship and give gifts. Their search is noble, selfless, and generous.
  • Herod, surprised by the inquiry of the Magi, summoned the priests and scholars to identify the place of the anticipated Messiah. Herod's reactive search is duplicitous, selfish, and fearfully corrupt. (Read 2:16, the slaughter of all male children under two years old).

In this story, we encounter 'outsiders' driven by an unquenchable commitment to not just search but to worship and give gifts to a new king.  The hidden work inside us prompts us to seek to know and live in a relationship with Christ. What is your search today?

Insight Out

A parting video clip with a personal invitation to apply the message to “knowing Christ” and “living in Christ” in the coming week.



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