On Sunday, we answered the question, “What will I do with Jesus this Christmas? The busyness of this season can overwhelm us. We have gifts to buy, parties to attend and plans to meet up with family. With all of the busyness and stress, it can be easy to miss the peace and joy of worshipping Jesus. (Matthew 2:1-12).
In Matthew 2, we see three responses to the birth of Jesus:
1. Resistance (King Herod)
When Jesus was born, it created conflict in Jerusalem. As the Wise Men showed up in Jerusalem asking questions about the location of Jesus, Herod became angry and paranoid. Herod was resistant to anyone that would overtake his thrown. Apart from Christ, the human heart at its core is prideful and controlling. We want to be lord and king of our own lives. This Christmas, we have to realize there is room for only one king of our hearts - King Jesus!
2. Apathy (Religious Leaders)
As paranoid Herod is trying to figure out where Jesus was born, he calls together the leading religious leaders in Jerusalem. They knew exactly where Jesus was born. Bethlehem is approximately 5 miles south of Jerusalem. They wouldn’t travel FIVE MILES to see Jesus, but the Wise Men traveled approximately 9,000 miles to worship Jesus. The religious missed Jesus because of their indifference and apathy. They knew of God but they didn’t know God! We can become familiar with the story but miss the person of Jesus.
3. Worship (Wise Men)
The Wise Men were fascinating people in the Christmas story. They weren’t resistant like Herod or apathetic like the religious leaders. The Bible calls them “magi.” Magi were a combination of philosophers, scientists, and astronomers. They spent their money and resources to travel a long distance to find and worship. They humbly worshipped Jesus and brought their best gifts for the baby King.
Gold represents royalty.
Frankincense signifies Jesus’ divinity.
Myrrh points to Jesus’ death on the cross.
Their gifts to Jesus were a miracle for Mary and Joseph. God provided what Joseph and Mary needed as they fled to Egypt because of the news that the Wise Men told them – that Herod was coming to kill Jesus (and all Hebrew boys 2 and younger).
The Wise Men were wise because they searched wholeheartedly for Jesus and they left changed!
What is your response to Jesus this Christmas?
Resistance – maybe you are mad at God, uncertain, I want to give you an opportunity to release this anger to God. To drop the resistance, I worship you Jesus.
Apathy – God help burn a passion in my heart today. Help me respond with joy, not apathy.
Worship – Help us to come and worship with our whole hearts!
Who are you today in the story?