Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Who are You in Matthew 2?

There are 3 characters in Matthew 2 that, I think, reflect the 3 approaches to Christ that we commonly find in our culture today.

Are you like Herod? Herod was the King. News of another King was a disturbing threat to his own throne. He was prepared to do whatever was necessary to protect his place in life. It seems to me there are many in our culture with this response to Jesus. They don't want there to be a new King in their lives. Kings require submission. We prefer our own rule to that of Jesus.

Or are you like the priests/teachers of Israel. They are not as prominent in the story, but they do represent something quite common in our culture. Herod comes to them for information about where the Messiah would be born. They know. They seem to know all the information about the Messiah, but something is missing. We don't get the impression that they were very passionate about finding Him. They were more interested in information than transformation. They knew some of the truth, but they were not in pursuit of The Truth.

I hope you are more like the maji. What is important about them is not whether they were kings or wise men or even astrologers. What is important about them is that they were in pursuit of the truth. They weren't concerned to maintain their elite status (bringing gifts to the baby of Jewish peasants). They weren't content with just the information the star gave them (choosing, instead, to focus on what the star pointed them to). They pursued truth until it brought them to The Truth: Jesus. And then they worshiped Him. They served Him by contributing gifts (gifts that, most likely, kept Him alive for the next months/years of his life).

The cool thing about being a wise man or woman is that it doesn't so much matter where you start out in regards to status or knowledge. It matters what direction you are going. If you are moving toward the Messiah, you are a wise man or woman.

So right now, at this moment, are you more like Herod (antagonistic toward the Gospel), the priests/teachers (aware of, but unmoved by, the Gospel) or the magi (in pursuit of The Truth of the Gospel... worshiping/serving Jesus)?