Wednesday, December 13, 2023

“We’ve Come to Worship”

“Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2 NLT)

History tells us that King Herod was a paranoid tyrant. Because of his paranoia, he had his wife and three sons executed because he thought they were trying to steal his throne. He also gave the order that the most distinguished citizens of Israel were to be arrested on the day of his death to guarantee there would be mourning in the nation upon his death.

Interestingly, Herod also liked to refer to himself as the king of the Jews. So when wise men arrived from the East and were asking about a child who had been born king of the Jews, it was the wrong thing to say to a man like Herod. The Bible tells us, “King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem” (Matthew 2:3 NLT).

The word “disturbed” used here means “agitated,” “stirred up,” or “shaken up.” Herod was the king. He was the man in control. And whenever Herod was stressed out, everyone else was stressed out too.

By bitter experience, the people knew that if Herod sensed a potential coup or a threat to his power, he would start having people killed. Thus, he tried to have the so-called king of the Jews put to death. Matthew tells us that Herod “sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance” (verse 16 NLT).

There are a lot of people like Herod today. They won’t allow anyone or anything to interfere with their career, their lifestyle, their plans, or their ambitions. They don’t mind taking time off to commemorate the birth of Jesus, but that is the extent of it.

Jesus is all right, as long as He stays in the manger as a baby. But they don’t like the idea of Jesus dying on a cross for them and rising from the dead. They don’t like the idea of Jesus saying they need turn from their sins and put their faith in Him. Like Herod, they see Jesus as a threat.

A lot of people are okay with God—if He stays out of their lives. They want God assisting them, someone to call in case of an emergency. But that is the extent of their faith. They wrongly believe they make their own luck, are the captains of their own ships, and the masters of their own destinies.

The reality is they are none of those things. A nonbeliever, according to the Bible, is under the control of someone else, and that someone is known as Satan (see 2 Timothy 2:25-26). 

Eventually, we must start thinking for ourselves. We must recognize that nothing this world has to offer us will fill the void in our lives that was created to be filled by God Himself. No experience, no possession, and no accomplishment will fill it. Not even religion or morality will fill it. What we need is Jesus.

Copyright © 2023 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

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