Unfiltered Joy

Pastor Ed Young - Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church
Ed Young

December 17, 2023

Unfiltered Joy


Matthew 2:10-11 “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 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.”


What a stunning scene—wise men from distant lands, influential and noble, bowing before a tiny baby. They're the iconic figures we see in our nativity scenes, right? The Bible offers glimpses of these men. They were wise, called "magi" in Scripture, deeply versed in ancient texts, prophecies, and the mysteries of the stars. A star in the east caught their attention (Matthew 2:1-2), leading them on an arduous journey to worship Jesus Christ. Can you imagine their nerve, asking a king about another king? They didn’t have the travel luxuries of air conditioning or airplanes; their worship was a commitment.

These wise men followed ancient prophecies (like Micah 5:2), understanding that finding Jesus meant seeking him in his Word. Similar to us today—seeking Jesus means delving into his Word.

Counting the cost, they left behind their lives, jobs, and loved ones, traversing vast distances to encounter the newborn Messiah. The Bible doesn't mention anyone else who came to worship Jesus, aside from these wise men and the humble shepherds. Both groups, deemed "unclean" by Jewish standards—the shepherds due to their job, the wise men due to their foreign origins—bowed in worship before the King born on earth. These unexpected worshipers acknowledged the One who came to redeem the world from sin.

So, how about us? How are we worshiping Jesus today? Is it a priority, or easily set aside when life gets in the way? Are we more concerned with comfort, finding the chaos of a stable off-putting? Do we see the animals first or do we see the Savior? Let's think on these questions—and whether our pursuit of the Lord reflects the dedication of those ancient worshipers.


Consider your approach to worship. Are there distractions or barriers hindering your focus during worship? Commit to engaging wholeheartedly in worship—whether in communal gatherings or personal moments—giving God your undivided attention. Just like the wise men sought Jesus, commit to seeking Jesus in his Word. Explore Scripture, dive into passages that speak of his birth, and reflect on the significance of his coming.

Develop habits and rhythms that foster a lifestyle of worship. Incorporate practices like prayer, meditation on Scripture, worship music, or moments of quiet to actively pursue Jesus and cultivate an atmosphere of worship in your daily life.


Dear God, thank you for the enduring, unshakable joy that Jesus brings into our lives. Help us to find refuge, and to rejoice in your presence – every day of the year. May our hearts be filled with worship. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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