To The Worshipping Hearts, Jesus Says, Come...Ye Faithful

Bible Book: Luke  2
Subject: Christ, Birth of; Christmas
Series: Invitations of Christ

We have been looking recently at some of these Invitations of Christ.

And in this series, we have considered the fact that…

1. To the Worn Out Heart, He says, “Come Forth,” as He did to Lazarus in John 11:43

We considered the fact that…

2. To the Wanting Heart, He says, “Come Down,” as He did to Zacchaeus in Luke 19:5

We considered the fact that…

3. To the Wondering Heart, He says, “Come And See,” as He did to John and Andrew in John 1:39

We considered the fact that…

4. To the Weary Heart, He says, “Come Unto Me...” as He said in Matthew 11:28

And then we considered the fact that…

5. To the Willful Heart, He says, “Come, Take Up The Cross, And Follow Me,” as He said in Mark 10:21

And then we considered the fact that…

6. To the Weakened Hearts, He says, “Come And Dine,” as He said in John 21:12

This morning, I want to deal with some who came to Jesus, but they did not necessarily come in response to an invitation that was extended by Jesus.

The best way that I can lay the foundation for our pattern of thought this morning is to mention a song that was written by a Catholic layman named John Francis Wade sometime around 1743. It was originally written in Latin and called “Adeste Fidelis.” Over the years, the song was translated and added to. In its present form the song says…

Verse 1:

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.

Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;

Verse 2:

True God of true God, Light from Light Eternal, Lo, He shuns not the Virgin’s womb;

Son of the Father, begotten, not created;

Verse 3:

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation; O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!

Glory to God, all glory in the highest;

Verse 4:

See how the shepherds, summoned to His cradle, Leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze;

We too will thither bend our joyful footsteps;

Verse 5:

Lo! star led chieftains, Magi, Christ adoring, Offer Him incense, gold, and myrrh;

We to the Christ Child bring our hearts’ oblations.

Verse 6:

Child, for us sinners poor and in the manger, We would embrace Thee, with love and awe;

Who would not love Thee, loving us so dearly?

Verse 7:

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning; Jesus, to Thee be glory given;

Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.


O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

With this song in mind, I want to say that “To The Worshipping Heart, The Invitation Is ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’.”

And I would say with John Wade, “O come let us adore Him.”

In the Christmas narrative, there are several who did come to adore and worship Jesus.

I. Let’s Consider The Messengers (Angels) Who Came To Jesus

(Luke 2:9) And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

We know that the angels went to the shepherds, but had they actually come to where Jesus was?

A. Their Description Tells Us That They Had Seen Jesus In The Manger

(Luke 2:12) And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

1. They Described The Swaddling Clothes

wrapped in swaddling clothes – Greek 4683. sparganoo, spar-gan-o'-o; from sparganon (a strip; from a der. of the base of G4682 mean. to strap or wrap with strips); to swathe (wrap) (an infant after the Oriental custom):--wrap in swaddling clothes.

2. They Described The Strange Cradle

manger – Greek 5336. phatne, fat'-nay; from pateomai (to eat); a crib (for fodder):--manger, stall.

James Freeman indicated that archaeologists discovered mangers in the region that were “cut out of limestone and were approximately three feet long, eighteen inches wide, and two feet deep.”

The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary says…

The sign, it seems, was to consist solely in the over-powering contrast between the lofty things just said of Him and the lowly condition in which they would find Him. ‘Him whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting, ye shall find a Babe: Whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain ye shall find “wrapped in swaddling bands and lying in a manger!”’

B. Their Declaration Tells Us That They Had Seen Jesus In The Manger

1. Their Declaration Included Good Preaching

(Luke 2:10-11) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. {11} For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

good tidings – Greek 2097. euaggelizo, yoo-ang-ghel-id’-zo ); from G2095 and G32; to announce good news (“evangelize”) espec. the gospel:--declare, bring (declare, show) glad (good) tidings, preach (the gospel).

This word is translated elsewhere in the New Testament as “preach.”

It was time for the children to perform the annual Christmas presentation at the church. One five-year-old was going to appear on the platform for the very first time in his young life. He only had one line to remember. Portraying an angel on the night of Christ’s birth, he was to say, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy.”

He had practiced his little sentence many times, but he admitted that he didn’t know what his line in the drama meant. “What are tidings?” he asked his mom. She said, “Tidings is just another word for news.”

The performance began and was going well, but the little angel became flustered when he forgot his line. But after a long embarrassing silence, he blurted out and said, “Hey, Have I got news for you!”

2. Their Declaration Included Glorious Praise

(Luke 2:13-14) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, {14} Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

praising – Greek 134. aineo, ahee-neh'-o; from G136; to praise (God):--praise.

Glory – Greek 1391. doxa, dox'-ah; from the base of G1380; glory (as very apparent), in a wide application (lit. or fig., obj. or subj.):--dignity, glory (-ious), honour, praise, worship.

It has the idea of splendor and brightness. It is the Shekinah glory!

II. Let’s Consider The Men (Shepherds) Who Came To Jesus

(Luke 2:16) And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

A. Before Their Coming, We See Their Task

(Luke 2:8) And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

1. They Were Working In The Field

Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament says…

“Abiding in the field,” agraulountes. From agros, field and aulee, court. The shepherds were making the field their court.

Marvin Vincent’s Word Studies in the New Testament says…

There was near Bethlehem, on the road to Jerusalem, a tower known as Migdal Eder, or “the watch-tower of the flock.” Here was the station where shepherds watched the flocks destined for sacrifice in the temple. Animals straying from Jerusalem on any side, as far as from Jerusalem to Migdal Eder, were offered in sacrifice. It was a settled conviction among the Jews that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, and equally that he was to be revealed from Migdal Eder.

2. They Were Watching Over The Flock

keeping – Greek 5442. phulasso, foo-las'-so; prob. from G5443 through the idea of isolation; to watch, i.e. be on guard (lit. or fig.); by impl. to preserve, obey, avoid:--beware, keep (self), observe, save.

watch – Greek 5438. phulake, foo-lak-ay'; from G5442; a guarding or (concr. guard), the act, the person; fig. the place, the condition, or (spec.) the time (as a division of day or night), lit. or fig.:--cage, hold, (im-) prison (-ment), ward, watch.

‎Vincent’s Word Studies says…

There is a play upon the words: “watching watches.”

Adam Clarke’s Commentary says…

(They were) keeping the watches of the night, i.e. each one keeping a watch (which ordinarily consisted of three hours) in his turn.

Barnes’ Notes also states…

[Keeping watch] More literally, “tending their flocks “by turns” through the night watches.”

B. Beyond Their Coming, We See Their Testimony

1. Notice The Essence Of Their Testimony

(Luke 2:17) And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

made known abroad – Greek 1232. diagnorizo, dee-ag-no-rid'-zo; from G1123 and G1107; to tell abroad:--make known.

What was told them concerning this child?

(Luke 2:11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

They must have told it in a big way, like one story that I read…

A preacher once drove to a neighboring town to order a mural for a stained glass window. He forgot the size of the window and called his wife to get the dimensions. He drove on to the store where he was to order the window. He talked for a few moments with the ladies behind the counter before beginning to place his order. He told the ladies he was very excited because he and his wife were expecting their first child. Just then his wife faxed him the dimensions of the window. The lady saw the fax, noted that it was addressed to the preacher but suddenly she screamed and fainted. The second lady saw it, screamed and fainted. The manager ran out from the back, and he passed out. The preacher leaped over the counter, read the fax as follows: “Unto us a Son is born ... Eight feet tall and four feet wide.”


2. Notice The Effect Of Their Testimony

(Luke 2:18) And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

wondered – Greek 2296. thaumazo, thou-mad'-zo; from G2295; to wonder; by implication it means to admire:--admire, have in admiration, marvel, wonder.

How this must have affected their work! Whenever someone came to get a sacrificial lamb, they would tell them about the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world! They would tell them about the “Saviour, which is Christ the Lord!”

III. Let’s Consider The Mature Ones Who Came To Jesus

(Luke 2:27) And he (Simeon) came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

(Luke 2:38) And she (Anna) coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

A. Notice Simeon – The One With A Spiritual Heart Who Was Waiting

(Luke 2:25) And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

1. Simeon Was A Man With A Reputation

just – Greek 1342. dikaios, dik'-ah-yos; from G1349; equitable (in character or act); by implication it means innocent, holy (absol. or rel.):--just, meet, right (-eous).

devout – Greek 2126. eulabes, yoo-lab-ace'; from G2095 and G2983; taking well (carefully), i.e. circumspect (religiously, pious):--devout.

Spurgeon said…

What a biography of a man? How short, and yet how complete! … The Holy Ghost thought it worthy of notice, since he has put a “behold” in the sentence. “Behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon.” He doth not say, “Behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was King Herod;” he doth not say, “Behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, who was high priest;” but “Behold!” —turn aside here, for the sight is so rare, you may never see such a thing again so long as you live; here is a perfect marvel; “Behold,” there was one man in Jerusalem who was “just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was upon him.” His character is summed up in two words—“just and devout.” “ Just”—that is his character before men. “Devout”—that is his character before God. (From The Biblical Illustrator)

2. Simeon Was A Man With A Revelation

(Luke 2:26-32) And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. {27} And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, {28} Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, {29} Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: {30} For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, {31} Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; {32} A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

The great London preacher and contemporary of Spurgeon, Joseph Parker said…

There is Simeon with the little child in his arms, and in that little life he sees the whole power of God, and the light that is to spread its glory over Israel and the Gentiles. Simeon might have given his prayer another turn; he might have said, “Lord, let me tarry awhile, that I may see the growth of this child. I am unwilling to go just yet, as great things are about to happen, such as never happened upon the earth before; I pray Thee let me abide until I see at least His first victory, and then call me to Thy rest.” This would have been a natural desire, and yet the old man was content to have seen and touched the promised child; and he who might have died in the night of Judaism, passed upward in the earliest dawn of Christianity. Simeon saw the salvation of God in the little child. (From The Biblical Illustrator)

B. Notice Anna – The One With A Servant’s Heart Who Was Widowed

1. She Had A Faithfulness In The Temple

(Luke 2:37) And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

A. T. Robertson wrote…

Which departed not ‎hee ‎‎ouk ‎‎afistato‎. Imperfect indicative middle. She kept on not leaving. The Spirit kept her in the temple as he led Simon to the temple (Plummer). Night and day ‎nukta ‎‎kai ‎‎heemeran‎. Accusative of duration of time, all night and all day. She never missed a service in the temple.

served – Greek 3000. latreuo, lat-ryoo'-o; to minister (to God), i.e. render religious homage:--serve, worship (-per).

2. She Had A Faithfulness In Her Testimony

(Luke 2:38) And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

gave thanks likewise – Greek 437. anthomologeomai, meaning to confess in turn, i.e. respond in praise:--give thanks.

She waited her turn, and when Simeon got done testifying, Anna spoke up! And she kept speaking up about Jesus.

spake – Greek 2980. laleo, lal-eh'-o; a prol. form of an otherwise obsol. verb; to talk, i.e. utter words:--preach, say, speak (after), talk, tell, utter.

redemption – Greek 3085. lutrosis, loo'-tro-sis; from G3084 (to ransom); a ransoming (fig.):--+ redeemed, redemption.

Whenever someone would come to the temple who needed liberation from some type of bondage or needed release from some spiritual oppression, she would point them to Jesus!

IV. Let’s Consider The Magi Who Came To Jesus

(Matthew 2:1) Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

(Matthew 2:11) And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

wise men – Greek 3097. magos, mag'-os; of for. or. [H7248]; a Magian, i.e. Oriental scientist; by impl. a magician:--sorcerer, wise man.

There was an art contest held in a local school one Christmas season a few years ago in East Texas. One of the prize winners was a picture drawn by a nine year old boy showing three men, offering gifts to the baby Jesus in his manger. What made the picture unique is how the three gift presenters arrived – there was fire truck on the side of the picture. The principle asked the boy about his decision to draw the truck and the boy, in his heavy East-Texas accent, was quick to reply: “Well, the Bible says the wise men came from a-far.”

Well the Bible doesn’t actually state that, but around 1857, John H. Hopkins, Jr., wrote these words, “We three kings of Orient are; Bearing gifts we traverse afar, Field and fountain, moor and mountain, Following yonder star.” The designation “wise men” in Matthew 2:1 is used more frequently to refer to the Babylonian or Persian magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers in the book of Daniel, than to refer to any other group. Further, Matthew 2:1 reveals that the wise men that sought the Christ came from the east to Jerusalem. Babylon would have been one of the closest pockets of civilization east of Jerusalem in that day. Given these facts, there would seem to be little doubt that these “wise men” were natives of Babylon.

A. We Find The Wise Men And Their Desire To Worship

(Matthew 2:2) Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

1. The Desire To Worship Jesus Was Cultivated By An Intellectual Factor – Truth

They knew intellectually that the One they sought was “born King of the Jews.” Because the Israelites had been held captive in Babylon in centuries past, could it be that these eastern philosophers had incorporated into their scope of learning the prophets of Israel such as Isaiah (Isaiah 9:6-7), and Zechariah (Zechariah 9:9) who had written of a coming King? Maybe when they first saw the star they pulled out the Psalms scrolls and read…

(Psalms 24:6-10) This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah. {7} Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. {8} Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. {9} Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. {10} Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

2. The Desire To Worship Jesus Was Cultivated By An Illuminating Factor – Spirit

“we have seen his star”

(Matthew 2:9) When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

went before – [Greek 4254. proago] to lead forward (magisterially); to precede (in place or time): --bring (forth, out).

The star illuminated their path both literally and metaphorically. It guided them and showed them the way, just as the Spirit does in worship.

Cf. (John 4:23-24) But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. {24} God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

B. We Find The Wise Men And Their Demonstration Of Worship

(Matthew 2:11) And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

1. Notice The Posture Involved In Their Worship

fell down – Greek 4098. pipto, pip'-to; a redupl. and contr. form of peto, pet'-o (which occurs only as an alt. in cert. tenses); prob. akin to G4072 through the idea of alighting (stepping down and finding a spot); to fall (lit. or fig.):--fail, fall (down), light on.

Barnes’ Notes says, “This was the usual way of showing respect or homage among the Jews.”

2. Notice The Presents Involved In Their Worship

Adam Clarke wrote…

The people of the east never approach the presence of kings and great personages, without a present in their hands. This custom is often noticed in the Old Testament, and still prevails in the east.

Matthew Henry said…

Some think there was a significancy in their gifts; they offered him gold, as a king, paying him tribute … frankincense, as God, for they honoured God with the smoke of incense; and myrrh, as a Man that should die, for myrrh was used in embalming dead bodies.

John MacArthur wrote…

It was also to Him that they presented their gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. Their giving was not so much an addition to their worship as an element of it. The gifts were an expression of worship, given out of the overflow of adoring and grateful hearts.

When we come before the Lord in worship, we need to bring a gift…

(Psalms 100:2, 4) Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. … {4} Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

What will you bring?

Three small boys were in a Christmas play at school. They represented the three wise men and they were to give their gifts to baby Jesus. The first boy stepped forward, held out the gift in his hands and said, “Gold.” The second boy stepped forward, held out his gift and said, “Myrrh.” The third boy stepped forward, held out his gift and said, “Frank sent this.”

V. Let’s Consider The Many Who Have Come To Jesus

A. To Those Who Come With Request, He Is Magnanimous (Generous)

(Hebrews 7:25) Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

make intercession – Greek 1793. entugchano, en-toong-khan'-o; from G1722 and G5177; to chance upon, i.e. (by impl.) confer with; by extension it means to entreat (in favor or against):--deal with.

1. Notice The Concept Of The Salvation That He Gives

save – Greek 4982. sozo, sode'-zo; from a prim. sos (contr. for obsol. saos, "safe"); to save, i.e. deliver or protect (lit. or fig.):--heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.

2. Notice The Completeness Of The Salvation That He Gives

uttermost – Greek 3838. panteles, pan-tel-ace'; from G3956 (pas – all) and G5056 (telos – the point aimed at as a limit); full-ended, i.e. entire (neut. as noun, completion):-- + in [no] wise.

It’s as full as it can be.

B. To Those Who Come With Repentance, He Is Merciful

(2 Peter 3:9) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

1. There Is A Tremendous Patience On His Part

longsuffering – Greek 3114. makrothumeo, mak-roth-oo-meh'-o; from the same as G3116; to be long-spirited, i.e. (obj.) forbearing or (subj.) patient:--bear (suffer) long, be longsuffering, have (long) patience, be patient, patiently endure.

2. There Is A Turning Point On Our Part

repentance – Greek 3341. metanoia, met-an'-oy-ah; from G3340 (to think differently or reconsider); (subj.) compunction (for guilt, includ. reformation); by impl. reversal (of [another's] decision):--repentance.

Conclusion: The babe of Bethlehem and the child of Christmas became a rallying point for all of these worshippers. And it can be so every year as we come to this season. Jesus is the rallying point. He is the reason that we can come, and He is the reason that we do come. Joseph Bayly wrote a piece called “Praise God for Christmas.” It says…

Praise Him for the incarnation, for the word made flesh.

I will not sing of shepherds watching flocks on frosty nights, or angel choristers.

I will not sing of a stable bare in Bethlehem, or lowing oxen;

wise men trailing star with gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Tonight I will sing praise to the Father who stood on heaven’s threshold

and said farewell to his Son as he stepped across the stars to Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

And I will sing praise to the infinite, eternal Son, who became most finite,

a baby who would one day be executed for my crime.

Praise him in the heavens, Praise him in the stable, Praise him in my heart!


I would say again with John Francis Wade, “O come … let us adore Him!”