January 5, 2010
We cannot ignore that Jesus came into this world for us. He came to give us life and fulfillment and died to save us. Our own way is not “The Way.”
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. (Matthew 2:3)
1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men 1 2:1 Greek magi; also verses 7, 16 from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose 2 2:2 Or in the east; also verse 9 and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
The arrival of such men in Jerusalem asking questions about a royal birth and speaking of a “King of the Jews” would soon become known to Herod’s informers. When the bloodthirsty Herod heard the news of the possible birth of a young king important enough to be heralded by a star and bearing a title that Herod saw as his, he was worried.
Jerusalem would be troubled along with him. Some were worried because they knew that they would lose out if Herod were replaced; others because they feared the way in which such news might cause Herod to behave. It is apparent that Jesus was not received enthusiastically by the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And later, it is the people of Jerusalem who will shout to condemn Him. They did not want to upset the status quo, except in their favor.
I love to have things “my way.” I think that I would really be good at determining what I want and how my life should be. It would be a great life just to do a board sport all day and Facebook or Ichat all night, hanging with my friends.
The people in Jerusalem did not want to believe that their King was arriving because it did not fit the way they thought it should happen, and they did not want their lives changed. They wanted it their way!
Jesus came to teach God’s Word, and we all need to listen. I know that life is not meant to be based on my ways but on His ways, and it really is impossible to ignore!
I am often like the “wise” men of Israel, who were too engrossed in their own rules to allow themselves to seek out the One who is the fulfillment of those rules.
1. In what areas of your life are you doing things "your way"?
2. Do you think your way is better?
3. What steps can you take to see how your way may not be the most fulfilling?
FAMILY DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. What did we learn about King Herod? How did he feel about Jesus?
2. What lie did King Herod tell (verse 8)?
3. How did God protect Jesus from King Herod (verse 12)?
4. Do you ever lie to get what you want? What can you do to fight the temptations to lie?