Saturday 11 December, 2021

Micha 5:2, 4 and Matthew 2:1-6

Micha 5:2, 4 2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” 4 He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. Matthew 2:1-6 2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 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 a contrast! Here we see wise Magi arriving from a foreign land, enduring long travels so they can celebrate and worship the birth of a king. They went straight to Herod – the ruling king – presumably expecting that the king they sought would be in the palace and honoured by him.

Compare that to Herod’s reaction. He was an imposter king – not of the line of David. He was obviously aware of the prophecy in Micah (5:2,4) which specified where the Messiah would be born. He called all the spiritual leaders together to confirm his suspicions. His reaction was one of dismay. Why? Primarily because he felt his hold on power was threatened. We know that he tried to change history by killing boys who were born at the right time and could potentially be the Messiah. Maybe he also felt guilt – but tried to avoid dealing with it by making the problem go away instead.

What I hadn’t noticed before was that all the people of Jerusalem were disturbed with Herod. We don’t know exactly why. What we do know is that foreigners came to worship, but those who had the prophecy and were expected to be glad at the coming of the Messiah reacted with dismay and perhaps fear and guilt. It seems that neither the king, the spiritual leaders nor the people accompanied the Magi to worship Jesus – they just stayed home.

This challenges me to think – how do I react to Jesus? Do I always come with passion and joy to worship him? Or am I sometimes distracted by other commitments or emotions? Am I prepared to put myself out for him like the Magi did? Or am I like the people then, who were dismayed like Herod and stayed home?

Father, thank you for the prophecy you gave that helps us recognise Jesus as Messiah. Jesus, thank you for coming to our world. Help me to honour you as king and worship you with joy and passion this Christmas.

Written by Megan Cornell

1 (reply)
  1. Florence Farjandi says:

    Awesome message. Thanks God for His only son. Jesus. If Jesus wasn’t born we never have Christmas.
    God bless you

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