Summary: Many missed encountering Jesus because of fear, indifference and the busyness of life. Learn from the Magi. Seek the Lord and He shall be found by you.
Did you miss Christmas? I am not referring to the season, or the day, or the activities we have at Christmas time.
• I am referring to the Person – the encounter with Jesus. Many today can have Christmas and not meet Christ.
• Christmas can come and go without any significant change.
Many did miss Christmas when Jesus was born 2000 years ago, and not because they do not know about it.
• They were so close, but yet ended up so far. They had the chance to see Jesus literally, and know Him, and experience a life change but nothing happened.
• The first one would be King Herod. The Magi came to him asking for directions and revealed the great news.
King Herod had the chance but he was driven by FEAR.
• Herod heard the news that a KING would be born. The word KING alone frightened him.
• The Word says he was disturbed. He was afraid. This FEAR did not come from Jesus; it was in him. He deceived himself into fear.
It was an unfounded fear. It was not rational. Jesus was only an infant, at most over a year old.
• It would take another 20-30 years before Jesus can even be a threat to his throne.
• And the truth is, Jesus’ rule has nothing to do with his throne. He was born the King of the Jews, according to OT prophecies it means the SHEPHERD of his people Israel.
• Anyway, Jesus did not come to establish an earthly kingdom. It was no threat at all!
A man was visiting a friend in a village. Saw sign “Beware of Dogs”. Walked a short distance and saw another one, and then a third one. He was anxious and afraid by the time he pressed the doorbell. It turned out to be a small puppy. The problem need not be real, it was in his mind.
FEAR gripped Herod’s heard. He was afraid of losing his kingship, his authority, his privileges and power. He was afraid of something that was not real.
• Fear need not have to make sense. It doesn’t, most of the time.
Many today are gripped with the same fear. They fear that if they put their trust in Jesus, He will RULE over them.
• They fear that Jesus will rob them of the freedom in life, their rights to do what they want, and their joy of enjoying the pleasures of life.
• They are afraid of losing their throne (like King Herod). They want to be in control.
The fear comes because we do not really know WHO Jesus really is, and we do not know WHAT He is capable of doing with our lives.
• We misread Jesus’ intention. We misunderstand God’s will. These untruths and half-truths breed fear.
Herod’s fear caused him to do a great wrong – he decided to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity, 2 years old and under (Matt 2:16).
• Fears can cause you to do crazy things. This was completely unnecessary.
• Herod was given the chance to know the prophecy of God, the gift of eternal life in Jesus. He was close but he missed it.
• Jesus did not come to fight him, but to save him. John 3:17 says He did not come into this world to condemn the world but save it.
Are you driven by fear today? Don’t allow ignorance to breed it.
• Get back to the TRUTH of God’s Word. Read it, study it, remember it, and it will enlightens you and set you free.
• Jesus says only the truth can set us free. We do not need to believe everything we read in the papers, magazines or the internet, but we must believe every word we read in the Bible.
The passage also reveals a second group of people that has the chance to know Jesus but did not - chief priests and teachers of the law (2:4).
They were INDIFFERENT. They got the answer, but they simply BO CHAP.
Under the order of the King, they searched the Scriptures and found the record that Christ was to be born “in Bethlehem in Judea” (2:5).
• They even quoted Micah 5:2 to the King. It was a prophecy. It was accurate. It was right, because it was a revelation of God.
• As religious leaders and learned scholars, we can expect them to find the answer.
But the most remarkable thing is that none of them went to Bethlehem.
• They had the Scriptures in the hands and the answer in their heads.
• It wasn’t in their heart. They were not moved to do anything in response to what God had revealed.
• Bethlehem is less than 10km south of where they are (Jerusalem). None of them went to look for the Messiah.