If anyone should have known Jesus was the Messiah it’s the religious rulers of Israel. They knew He would come as a man (Deuteronomy 18:15) but be God Himself (Isaiah 9:6). He is to come from the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10) and be a descendant of David (Isaiah 9:7). They even knew the approximate time (Daniel 9:24-27) and the very place He would be born (Micah 5:2). They knew and they believed. They were able to tell Herod exactly where to look. But they never bothered to take the five mile trip to see for themselves.
They were familiar with everything about the Messiah. They had studied it and taught it their whole lives. But when it really happened they didn’t bother to personally greet the Messiah. There are many in the USA, and many Christians in churches, who have heard the story of Jesus’ birth over and over and know it well. But they don’t bother developing a personal relationship with Him. They are familiar Jesus and His claims on their lives, but they live as if He never came. In their pride they are unwilling to humble themselves and turn to Him. He is a nice, familiar story – but that’s all.
We can get drawn into the “familiarity breeds contempt” trap as well. We know the story so well and so long that it has lost its special significance. The awe is gone. Spontaneous worship over the fact that God Himself left heaven to come to earth to redeem us is missing. We know the story. We believe the story. But do we still feel the full impact of the importance of it? Does it thrill us and fill us with joy and worship? It should. It must. We don’t want to be like the religious rulers, do we? Make sure the story comes alive for you this season!
Matthew 2:4-6 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
What can you do to make sure the reason for the season stays foremost this season? Make a list of things and then give them top priority in your mind and heart.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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