Summary: When we look at the Christmas story in the Bible we find several different ways people responded that first Christmas.
Christmas: What is your Response?
When we look at the Christmas story in the Bible we find several different ways people responded that first Christmas. Today we find people respond to Christmas in various ways much like on that first Christmas.
Some People are Preoccupied.
Luke 2:3 Everyone, then, went to register himself, each to his own hometown.
We have this romanticized picture in our mind what it was like the on the first Christmas. We sing silent night holy night all is calm. Ok it was a Holy night, but not silent and not calm. It was a madhouse that first Christmas. It was more like a crowded modern day shopping mall than the calm night we think of.
The more accurate picture is that everyone was rushing frantically to get to their hometown to register for the census. Even though Joseph and Mary did not need to be traveling just prior to delivering Marry’s baby they had too. It was like traveling during the modern holiday season.
It was busy; there were traffic jams (camels were backed up for miles I would imagine). There was confusion and congestion. There was not a vacancy to be found anywhere. That’s why there was no room at the inn. You could imagine tempers flaring and people arguing trying to get any vacancy they could find.
The Entire Roman worked was rushing around for a census and that made people preoccupied. They did not have their spiritual antenna up looking to see if God was doing something great in His time. They just wanted to get to their hometown and get registered for the census.
The towns were so preoccupied with the census there wasn’t even a decent earthly place for Jesus to be born. No room in the inn. People were rushing here and there to get to where they could register. There was so much activity that first Christmas day that had nothing to do with Jesus.
Could you imaging going to a birthday party where the birthday guest was sitting in the corner ignored. It was sort of like that the first Christmas morning. By and large the people were too preoccupied to pay any attention to the birth of Jesus that first Christmas morning.
Today it is not much different. Christmas is associated with frantic activity, traffic jams and crowds. You are hard pressed to get an airline reservation, the roads are congested. Everyone is trying to get to their hometown to be with family for Christmas. Even today we find the crowds too preoccupied to give attention to “Jesus, The Reason for the Season”.
We can get preoccupied and lose focus. It is good to get to a quiet place and read the Christmas story from Matthew and Luke. The Christmas story is so simple. It would take some deliberate effort if we are going to have an all is calm time at Christmas to really focus in Jesus and why He came that first Christmas morning.
Some People are Disturbed by Jesus.
Matthew 2:3 When King Herod heard about this, he was very upset, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem.
Hit is not surprising Herod was disturbed. Herod did so many terrible things. He even murdered his own family members out of fear of his throne. All Jerusalem was disturbed with Herod. Herod disturbed yes, but why all Jerusalem?
Jesus causes disturbance. Jesus says, I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me. That exclusivity disturbs people. Jesus is the divine son of God, now that disturbs people. Jesus says worship no other God. That disturbs people.
He disturbed the religious leaders so much that they wanted to stone him to death. You being a man make yourself out to be God. He disturbed the crowds and they yelled crucify him, crucify him, we have no king but Caesar.
Some People are Curios about Jesus.
Luke 1:65-66 the news about these things spread through all the hill country of Judea. Everyone who heard of it thought about it and asked, "What is this child going to be?"
The first story Luke tells in his Gospel is the story of Zechariah, a priest who was burning incense in the temple. During that time an angel appeared to him and proclaimed that his wife Elizabeth would give birth to a son. He was told to name the boy John. He was told that his son would be strong and mighty like the prophet Elijah and he would get the people ready for the Lord (Jesus).
His wife Elizabeth had been barren for a long time and Zechariah and Elizabeth were getting old. Because of this Zechariah could not believe the message the angel declared. He wanted a sign. He received a sign that he would not speak until his son was born.