Summary: In life there will be forces that seek to destroy, deny, or deter human and spirital potential, but the good news is that we serve a God who overcomes.
God Who Overcomes Matthew 2:1-15
Matthew 2:15 “Out of Egypt I have called my son”
After the joy of Christmas, after birth of Jesus, after the wise men and Sheppard’s, and after the angels sing, we encounter Herod’s diabolical plot to destroy the baby Jesus.
This aspect of the story is intended to remind and reassure us that in life there will be forces that seek to destroy, deny, and/or deter human and spiritual potential, but the God we serve is the God who overcomes.
As we enter into a new year, it is important to know that in life’s journey, you will encounter four basis forces that seek to thwart God’s plan for your life. A complicated past, cruelty of people, callosity of position, and critical problems, all forces that seek to destroy, that seek to deny or seek to deter your human and spiritual potential.
If it happened to Jesus, be assured it can happen to you.
So, if your past is characterized by never being able to put down roots, always moving from place to place, living life always wondering where you are and where you are going. I want you to know that God overcomes a complicated past.
If you have experienced the dark side of humanity, where the nexus of cruelty is always at your door, the bull eye is always on your back, actions are always taken to steal your joy. I want you to know that God overcomes the cruelty of people.
If the power forces of the day have hardened their hearts to your plight, have refused to listen to your concerns, have placed their feet on your back. I want you to know that God overcomes the callosity of position.
Finally, if life problems presents crises after crises, a never ending litany of bad news, if it not one thing it’s another. I want you to know that God overcomes critical problems.
That’s what this text tells us, that in life there will be forces that seek to destroy, deny, or deter human and spiritual potential, but the good news is that we serve a God who overcomes.
Let’s look closely at the story.
You have Jesus the Christ entering human experience as a baby born in Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph. The circumstance of his birth is well known to us. Joseph and Mary are not married but he cares of the child and her with the faith of a father who knows that God is on his side. An angel informs Mary that the child she is carrying has a special and significant purpose in God’s plan. He is God’s beloved son.
Point: I want you to know that it does not matter what the circumstances of your birth may have been, the complication of your past, or the inconsistency of social involvement. This story clearly tells us that even if your where born in a garage, you are not a car. Even if you where born in an oven, you are not a biscuit. The very fact that you where born makes you a child of God, a person with a special and significant purpose in God’s plan.
In Jesus we have the protagonist of the story. In Herod we have the antagonist.
The text makes a point to identify Herod as a person, and then as the King. This distinction is important because the person of Herod is a troubled individual. His mother was Arabian, and therefore, in the eyes of the orthodox Jews, he was not fully a Jew. This aspect of his past always caused Herod to be unsure of himself and dangerous in his dealings with others. No wonder he becomes uneasy when he suspects that the Messiah, the King of the Jews has been born. He reflects that worst of humanity as he demonstrates cruelty to people. He seeks to destroy the baby Jesus.
Point: As hard as you may try to do God’s will God’s way, there will always be forces in opposition. While some will cheer you, there will be those who boo. While some will give you acclaim, there will be those who will profane. While some will pat you on the back, there will be those who will stab you in the back. Unfortunately, in life you will
Encounter cruel people.
Its one thing to be a cruel person, it another thing to have power as a cruel person, therefore, you see Herod acknowledged in the text not only as a person, but also by his position as King. He demonstrates callosity in his position. That’s the hardening of his heart.
Callosity of position is when people who have power to ease life’s burdens, themselves become a burden. That’s what happened to Pharaoh in Exodus. He had the power to let the Hebrew people go, but his heart was hardened and he enacted cruelties on the people because he had the power to do it.