Summary: When it comes to looking for Jesus we see several "types" of people in the Gospels. Are they all still with us today? What kind of person actually finds Jesus?
Looking for Jesus.
There are at least three kinds of people looking for Jesus ...
Those who want nothing to do with Jesus
Those who are looking for Jesus in all the wrong places
Those who are looking in the right places
We see all of these people in the Christmas story and you probably know people who fit into all of these categories!
Those who want nothing to do with Jesus
Herod - was one of them. He was the “King of the Jews”. So, when the Wisemen from the east arrived with news of another “King of the Jews” Herod was not pleased at all.
Matthew 2:1-3 says:
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.’ When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”
We know why Herod was troubled! He was “King of the Jews” and would not tolerate any challenges to the throne.
And, we know why all Jerusalem was troubled as well. Whenever Herod’s kingship was challenged people died! And this fear was well founded as we see in
“When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.
“Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.’”
We have people like this today! Some of them are rabid atheists. Not all atheists are malicious but some are like Herod; determined to wipe out any challenge to their way of thinking.
Do you remember the song “Looking for love in all the wrong places?” - some people are looking for Jesus in all the wrong places!
First, we see people looking for "proof" of Jesus.
(The following are PPT slides with pictures of "Jesus face" in the following places:
The Shroud of Turin
Jesus in the crop field
Jesus and someone in pink walking in the sky on Google Maps
Jesus on an apple butter jar lid
Jesus on a pancake
Jesus on a candy bar
Jesus on a half eaten tortilla
Even the Magi, who were sincerely looking for the Christ Child, were initially looking in the wrong place. But, really, how can you blame them? Where would the King of the Jews be born but in a palace? I mean, really!
And after the crucifixion we see the women and the disciples looking for Jesus at the tomb even after all of the times that He had told them that He would rise again after three days.
But those were honest mistakes! Not so with today’s “spirituality”!
Ben Witherington says, As a former New Age follower and devoted student of A Course in Miracles, I eventually discovered that the Course in Miracles was—in reality—the truth of the Bible turned upside down. Not having a true understanding of the Bible at the time of my involvement, I was led to believe that A Course in Miracles was "a gift from God" to help everyone understand the "real" meaning of the Bible and to help bring peace to the world. Little did I know that the New Age "Christ" and the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles were everything the real Jesus Christ warned us to watch out for. In Matthew 24 Jesus warned about false teachers, false teachings and the false "Christs" who would pretend to be Him.
When I left the New Age "Christ" to follow the Bible's Jesus Christ, I had come to understand that the "Jesus" of A Course in Miracles was a false "Christ," and that his Course in Miracles was dangerously deceptive. Here are some quotes from the "Jesus" of A Course in Miracles:
A "slain Christ has no meaning."
"Do not make the pathetic error of 'clinging to the old rugged cross.'"
"The Name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol... It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray."
"The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself”
When I was actually in the middle of writing this sermon I came across and advertisement for a book called “The First Christmas: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus' Birth”. Sounds awesome, but, when reading the reviews I discovered that the authors do not believe the infancy narratives to be factual at all but just fictions created to tell moralistic, feel-good stories.