Matthew 2:1-12;16-18 (New International Version)
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
16 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. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 “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.”
It's December, and as it has been since the birth of the baby Jesus in a manger, the many that are opposed to the very idea of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and anything having to do with Christmas and Christianity are at it again. You need only read the latest story in the newspaper or online and you can quickly see that this is definitely not a good time of year for some.
The war against Christmas is alive and heating up again. All across the nation, those who are opposed to the things of Christ are marching out in full force in an attempt to suppress the recognition and celebration of "the coming" to earth of our Savior and King. In most other countries, other than those that are constitutionally Muslim, public Christmas decorations, school observances and public celebrations are embraced and accepted.
In a ruse and twisting of the Constitution, those opposed to anything having to do with Jesus, have declared an all out assault on Christianity and anything that has to do with Christ. What are they so afraid of that they have blatantly lied to an entire generation of school children in an attempt to hide the truth about the "real reason for the season". Why are they so zealous in an attempt to destroy the coming of the Messiah?
Nothing much has changed in 2000 years since the birth of Christ. During those days King Herod and his followers were greatly troubled about the "news headline" of the day about the arrival of the Jewish Messiah. Although others sought to worship him, the worldly rulers of the day wanted to stamp out and destroy the One, who would replace the rule of oppression and bondage of the people, with God's rulership of spiritual and personal freedom from their sins.
Thank God that He will not be deterred and he will not let the things of this world hold back any who truly worship and get to know the Savior. God is in control, and just as Jesus escaped the violence of evil men of that day, Jesus will conquer those same evil men of today with his love, joy, and peace of the Christmas Season, ensuring that all those who seek him will find him.
Painting: The Massacre of the Innocents at Bethlehem, by Matteo di Giovanni, 1488
The past several I have taken you with me on my Advent journey as I travel the path of "the coming", the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus. I hope you enjoy reading these highlights about our Savior as much as I do.