Thursday, December 05, 2013

Missing Christmas: Fear

Herod didn't want to give up his throne.

Matthew 2:1-3  Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”

King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem.

Another person that missed Christmas was Herod. He had worked hard to impress Rome and convince them that he should have the title of "King of the Jews." So he wasn't happy when a group of guys came into town started asking around about a new king that had just been born.

In the previous post we saw that the innkeeper missed Christmas due to ignorance but Herod is very different. He was well informed, he was told all of the facts about Jesus birth by the religious leaders and the wise men also told him what they knew, but he still missed Christmas.

The scriptures tell us that he was troubled, the original wording of this text uses the word that means to be agitated or shaken up, Herod wasn't just a little annoyed. Herod wasn't willing to let anybody live that was perceived as a threat to his throne. He was a madman that would kill members of his own family.

Herod devised a plan and asked the Magi to come back after they found the child so that he could go and worship him. After he realized that the Magi had neglected to return to him and inform him where the baby was he decided to kill all of the baby's in his kingdom.

Herod missed Christmas because of fear.

The political situation in Israel was similar to many governments that we have in power today. There are kings and presidents that are similar to Herod. They slaughter innocent people in order to protect their throne. Other governments do terrible things to their people in order to suppress the church.

It isn't only world leaders that play the part of Herod, like it or not, there is a little bit of Herod in all of us. We resist the idea of somebody else sitting on our throne and taking control of our little kingdom. Whoever sits on our throne gets to decide important things about our life, this new King may interfere with our career plans, our family plans or he may ask us to give up our luxuries.
Proverbs 21:30  No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the LORD.
We are no different than Herod. Sooner or later you will find out that the Lord's plans and his purposes are different from our own. We will have to decide if we are going to give up our crown and our throne and allow God to have the controls. God's plans are not going to be changed because we think that we are in charge. Herod tried to be in control and interfere with God's plans but Herod is dead and gone and God's plans are still moving forward.

Losing control is one of the main reasons for rejecting Christ. There are plenty of people that want the comfort and the resources that are available to the child of God. There are many that try to claim the promises of God's children when they are dealing with a death in the family. They run to the church and ask the minister to give them comfort when there isn't any reason to have the same hope that God gives to his children.

Jesus wants to be more than just a spiritual resource that we run to when life is hard, he wants to be more than a ticket to get out of hell, he wants to be crowned Lord of our life. All of us should respond to God's reign in our lives the same way that Mary did. Mary responded, "I am the Lord's servant. May everything you have said about me come true." (Luke 1:38)

What about you? Have you said no to Jesus in your life because you are afraid to give up your throne? Because you want to be the Lord of your life? The master of your fate?

Help me Lord to give you the throne of my life, it is so difficult to have 100% trust in you.