THE DISQUIETING MESSAGE FROM BETHLEHEM'S STABLE
The world tolerates the Baby in the manger--to some degree. Oh, they would do away with Him altogether, if they could--maybe gradually phasing Him out by placing a creche in the middle of a holiday display from various religions and secular traditions--but being rid of Him entirely, eventually, or altered so much as to be unrecognizable. Yet, if the world must recognize Him at all, they will consign Him to a cradle of straw as a cherubic infant. That is not particularly threatening, nor intimidating.
The problem rises when they consider what the Baby grew up to be! The life that He lived, the words that He spoke, the death that He died, the resurrection He experienced, the authority He claims, and the judgment He will decree--that is the disquieting message from Bethlehem's stable. The world would ignore or be slightly amused if only He only came as the Babe of Bethlehem, but they are not very happy with One who is coming again as King of kings and Lord of lords!
When Jesus came the first time, the world shoved Him off into a stable and shoved His crucified corpse into a sepulchre sealed with a stone. But, He wouldn't stay dead, so that when He comes the second time, He will do the shoving--into the Lake of Fire--the judgment of all who reject Him. That's what the world hates about Him. They just want to be left alone, and He will not permit it. If they could just stow Him away as an Infant in a manger scene, along with all the other decorations hidden in a box in the attic, only to drag out on special occasions!
That cannot be done. It isn't an option. One day every eye shall see Him, every knee will bow to Him and every tongue confess He is Lord. He has conquered. He will reign. That is the disquieting message from Bethlehem's stable.