Saturday, December 07, 2013

Missing Christmas: Indifference

The Religious Leaders didn't care that the Messiah had arrived.

Matthew 2:3-6  King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem.

He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, "Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?"   

"In Bethlehem in Judea," they said, "for this is what the prophet wrote:   

'And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for My people Israel.'"

A whole group of people missed the first Christmas, a group of people that should have never been guilty of missing something so obvious, these people were the religious leaders.

The religious leaders were experts in the Old Testament so when Herod went to them and asked them about the new king that the Magi were asking about they should have taken notice. They were the theologians of the day, they knew that the answer to Herod's question could be found in Micah 5:2. They knew that the Messiah was going to be born a few miles south of Jerusalem in Bethlehem.

You can see how much the arrival of the Messiah meant to the people when John the Baptist started his ministry (Matthew 3:1-5) but despite all of the anticipation for the arrival of the Messiah none of them bothered to go to Bethlehem and see if he was there. With all of the oppression that the nation was experiencing under the Romans you would think that they would be excited about the possibility of a Messiah whose kingdom and reign would restore the nation you would think that they would take a short walk and see if the thing that the nation of Israel had been waiting for had finally happened.

The religious leaders missed Christmas because of their indifference. They knew all of the facts about the Messiah but they didn't care. Having the Messiah was no big deal to them. They didn't need a Messiah because they were already self-righteous. They felt that their works were good enough, in their minds God couldn't want them to be anything more that they were, these guys were proud.

Indifference is one of the most common reactions to Jesus, many times it is the "good" people that are the hardest ones to convert, they do not see themselves the way that God sees them. Their good works have become their God.
Luke 5:32  I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent."
If you don't know you need a Savior then you wont see any value in Jesus, they don't oppose Jesus, they aren't evil people, they just don't see their need for him. What a dangerous place to be, to imagine that you are good enough, and then to find out that you were wrong.

How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? (Hebrews 2:3)