"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 saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him." Matthew 2:1-3 ESV.
Have you ever noticed a curious thread in the Christmas story? Jesus—the long expected, much prophesied, and promised king in the line of David—was finally coming to to his people.
Yet, many of his “people” didn’t recognize him and flat-out rejected him. Most of Israel’s elite rulers, priests, and leaders were troubled by the coming of the savior.
Instead, the poor, forgotten, and foreigners are the ones who show up for Jesus’ birthday party.
Why would some reject Jesus while others celebrate his arrival?
I think the answer is this: the wealthy, powerful, and in charge were more than happy with the current king in charge, while the poor, forgotten, and abandoned longed for a new king and a new kingdom.
This Christmas I encourage you to consider these questions: Who is my king and what kingdom do I long for?
Even as a believer in Jesus, it’s all too easy for me to follow, serve and worship many things. My heart too often seeks happiness and meaning in entertainment or hobbies, buying new gadgets, owning a bigger whatever, being recognized for my hard work, or receiving praise and love from people around me.
At times, I’m much more comfortable with these kings ruling my heart than I am interested in seeking a king born in a manger.
In the midst of all the craziness of life and Christmas, don’t forget to look for the only king that offers real hope, peace, and love.
Read the Christmas story as a family, spend time in prayer asking God to refocus your heart, and attend a worship service that honors Christ as savior.
"When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him." - Matthew 2:10-11a ESV