Friday, January 02, 2015

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH JESUS?


Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)

It is a timeless question—as relevant today as when first spoken 2000 years ago.  Jesus was on trial for His life and the Roman governor asks the crowd, What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”  (Matt.27:22)  How will you answer?  Your response will be the difference between heaven and hell.  In our text, we see three possible responses.

There is the SELF-CENTERED RESPONSE of Herod.  When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. (Matt.2:3)  “And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.’”  (v.8)  “Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.”  (v.12)  Herod was concerned with taking care of himself.  He wanted to preserve his position if it meant slaughtering babies.  He shook his fist in the face of God.  Many do today.  Herod represents all who show hostility to Christ.  It is a war against God that cannot be won.

There can be a SELF-RIGHTEOUS RESPONSE like the Scribes.  “And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.  So they said to him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.”’ ” (Matt.2:4-6)  These were the religious elite who should have been seeking the Messiah, but it is evident they were not.  The self-righteous sense no need of a Savior.  Their heads were filled with Scriptural prophecies, but their hearts were empty of spiritual passion.  Unlike Herod’s hostility, these exhibited apathy.  That response makes one just as hell-bound as haters of God.  Jesus would warn that if we are not with Him, we are against Him.

We need to show a SINCERE SEEKER RESPONSE like the Magi.  “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”  (Matt.2:1-2) “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.  And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.  And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”  (v.10-11)  Think of how far they came, and the cost of their gifts.  They were drawn by God and came to worship.  They would find Christ—nothing else would satisfy.  That is the response that brings salvation.

What are you going to do with Jesus?

2 comments:

jesusandthebible said...

Herod was definitely hostile and self-centered. While the scribes were self-righteous, they would have been part of all Jerusalem that was troubled by the news of a new king (Mt. 2:3). And throughout much of Matthew, they are the main ones who are hostile to Jesus, for he opposed not only their self-righteousness but also their teaching and influence over the people. The wise men did bring costly gifts and did worship, but they then left and returned to the Gentile kings they served (and perhaps worshiped). Yet they partly foreshadow later Gentiles who would come to worship and serve Jesus only, as his obedient disciples.

Dennis Thurman said...

Thanks for dropping by and reading! I appreciate you taking time to comment. Of course this is meant as a devotional and not a detailed exposition and so a number of points that might have been covered were not. Do we know what happened to the magi after they left? Scripture is silent, but I am convinced they were genuine followers with true faith. But definitely they foreshadow a harvest to come from Gentiles. I agree.