When people hear of Jesus, they either ignore Him, challenge Him, or worship Him.
It was that way at the first Christmas and this Christmas. The people have changed but not the situation.
When the wise men, pagan astrologers, made their way to Jerusalem to see the King of Jews who had been recently born, they stirred up a lot of attention (Matt. 2:1-2). These men had received some information that others had not received or either had been blinded to the truth.
The religious leaders spoke up:
“Oh, the King of the Jews? Yeah, he will be born in Bethlehem. We aren’t sure if he has, but there is the prophecy all the way back in Micah 5:2 and 2 Sam. 5:2 that tells that the small town he will be born in is Bethlehem.”
And yet they hadn’t been looking. They knew where their long-awaited Messiah would be born and they didn’t even have some type of registry to check out every child born in that area. If you know he is to be born there, why not set up shop there until you find him?
Herod the King acts like he wants to worship him, but he just wants to find him and eliminate him. As the authority in that area, he had grown very paranoid of anyone who would possibly rival his throne and had many wives, children, and friends killed if he suspected them for treason. In fact, he was so skittish, Caesar Augustus once said he would rather be Herod’s pig than his son. I suppose that was safer!
- The religious leaders ignored Jesus.
- The king challenged Jesus.
- The wise men worshiped Jesus.
The ones who knew the least worshiped the most, and the ones who know the most worshiped the least.
In this last year, what could be said of me more:
- Did I ignore Jesus?
- Did I challenge Jesus?
- Did I worship Jesus?
What about this coming year? Trends will change in the future, but Jesus will remain on His throne. What are you going to do with Him?
[Check out more in this sermon, “There Can Only Be One King.”]