An Unexpected King

This Week: Matthew 2:1-12

Date: December 13, 2015

Series: To Fulfill: The Unwavering Promise of God Seen in the Incomparable Person of Jesus

Group Resources

REMINDER: We will provide curriculum for Dec. 6 and Dec. 13 before we begin our Christmas break. If you plan on meeting as a group the week of Dec. 20, please use this time as a group fellowship. Lighthouses resume the week of Jan. 10.

This Week’s Resources:

This Week’s Lighthouse Lesson

Below is the outline of this week’s Lighthouse lesson. The suggested responses to the questions are available in the complete leader study guide available online or in printed form at the literature display by the main entrance.

Overview of this Lesson

This week’s lesson from Matthew 2:1-12 highlights the story of the Magi, or wise men, who searched diligently for the newborn King, and once they found Him, the rejoiced and worshiped Him.
It also tells us another story, about the reaction of King Herod, the legal “king of the Jews” recognized by the Romans, and the chief priests and scribes, the Jewish Religious Leaders. As we will see in this week’s lesson, the reaction to the birth of Jesus from these three biblical examples mirrors the response we see today to the birth of Jesus and the Christmas season we celebrate.


  • Looking back at your notes from this week’s sermon, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
  • What prompts people to give gifts at Christmas?
  • Why do you give someone a gift at Christmas?

This Week’s Take Home Truth

The story of the Magis’ search for the Messiah reveals three common reactions to the birth of Jesus: hostility, indifference, and worship.

Read the Text (Matthew 2:1-12)

It’s hard to imagine that anything could rival in importance, interest, and excitement the events that occurred during the hours and days immediately following the birth of Christ. But even several months after the amazing stir created by the angels and shepherds to herald His arrival, people were still hearing about and responding to news of Christ’s birth. By that time, men of wealth and influence were reacting to the news coming out of Bethlehem. But was their response any more uniformly noble than that of the shepherds and common people we saw in our previous chapter? Not necessarily. Actually, as you will see, the response of some powerful people was outwardly much worse than the fleeting, indifferent curiosity the average people had to the shepherds’ witness. But as with the shepherds and Jesus’ parents, some also rendered genuine faith and worship to the newborn King. Read Matthew 2:1-12.

NOTE: Despite the traditional depictions of the nativity that place the shepherds and wise men together visiting the baby Jesus in the stable, the wise men’s visit was likely a separate occasion that took place some months after Jesus’ birth. The events of Matt 2:1–23 fell between the episodes described in Luke 2:22–40 and Luke 2:41–52.

Digging Deeper

In this section, feel free to develop your own questions to help guide your group’s discussion. Below are some suggestions.

  • In this week’s text, we see the reaction of three different actors. Describe what you learn about each and their reaction to the news of the birth of Jesus.
  • As we look at the Christmas story as told by Matthew, what conclusion can you draw as you see how God used Mary and Joseph vs. King Herod and the religious leaders?
  • What are the lessons we can learn from the Magi?
  • What are the lessons we can learn from Herod and the Religious Leaders?

Concluding Thoughts

In this section, feel free to develop your own questions to help guide your group’s discussion. Below are some suggestions.

  • The Magi “rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” when they saw the star that led them to Jesus, and they worshiped Him. What about Christmas this year causes you great joy and leads you to worship Jesus?
  • What are the spiritual lessons the Lord has impressed upon you this week through the sermon and Lighthouse lesson?
  • What does the Lord want you to do with these lessons?

Lighthouse Leader Meeting

Our next Lighthouse Leader meeting is Sunday, Dec. 20 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 202, which is upstairs in the Student Center, first room to the left of the elevator. We will be finished by 10:30 a.m.

Lighthouse Calendar

  • Dec. 6 — To Fulfill: An Unexpected Dream (Matthew 1:18-25)
  • Dec. 13 – Kids Christmas Musical (Morning Services)
  • Dec. 13 — To Fulfill: An Unexpected King (Matthew 2:1-12)
  • Dec. 20 — Begin Christmas Break
  • Dec. 21 – Family Movie Matinée, 1:00 pm Student Center
  • Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve Service, 5:00 & 6:30 pm.
  • Dec. 27 — Christmas Break
  • Jan. 3 — Christmas Break
  • Jan. 3 – New Series: Shoe-Leather Theology (James)
  • Jan. 10 – Lighthouses Resume

Lighthouse Leader Resources: