Different Reactions to “Christmas News”
We are now switching over to Matthew’s narrative of the early years of Jesus. Matthew skips over much of the details relating to the birth after recording an angel’s visit to Joseph. Matthew picks up the narrative in chapter 2, with a discussion of the circumstances surrounding the wise men. Let’s read verses 1-4: 2 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, 2 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.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 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.
We don’t know exactly who these wise men were or even how many there were. But they see the star and they came to worship Jesus. There are a lot of theories as to what this means exactly and how did they follow a star, etc…That’s not my purpose this morning. My purpose is to point out the different reactions to the news. The wise men are rejoicing. They want to worship this new “king”. But Herod is troubled. News of the “king” does not bring him joy but rather sorrow. It is sort of like the following hypothetical situation. One young woman gets a beautiful piece of jewelry from her husband and she shows it to her best friend. But the best friend is not full of joy, but rather is jealous, perhaps wishing that her husband had bought her a similar piece of jewelry. So the jewelry has produced different reactions, one of joy and one of sadness, even jealousy. (Not intending to pick on ladies here…the same reaction could be produced in men, though probably not relating to jewelry…maybe a new truck!)
That’s what news of Jesus often does in our world. To some He is received as a Savior, producing joy. To others, He is seen as a threat, a crutch, and His truth produces fear or even hate. I hope that your reaction to “Christmas news” is one of joy and peace and love. But let’s remember to pray for those who have reacted differently. It didn’t turn out very well for Herod, as we’ll see later, but those we know could have a change of heart as we pray for them and as we live our lives to serve our King.