A group of travelers entered the city hoping they had finally reached their goal. They were tired, excited, and confused for nobody knew where to find Him, the One they came to honor. “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have seen His star as it arose, and we have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:2
No one knew what they were talking about, especially the current King. Herod was not happy, to say the least! Who in the world was this so called King of the Jews? How dare those foreigners come seeking a new king? They spread that lie all over the capital! What is a King to do?
Herod was an amazingly sly and devious man and he came up with a plan. First, he called together his scholars directing them to find out what these trouble makers were talking about. Where was the Messiah to be born?
“O Bethlehem of Judah
you are not just a lowly village in Judah
for a ruler will come from you
who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.” Micah 5:2
So, Herod sent for the Wise Men, told them they would find the Messiah in Bethlehem, and asked them to report back to him, then he, too, can worship the King of the Jews.
What was it that kept Herod from seeking out the Messiah for himself? What kept the Israelites from seeking a personal connection with God, relying instead on Moses as their conduit? What keeps so many of us from seeking the Messiah for ourselves, or believing the message God sends to us daily, the message of His Grace?
How often do we rely on others to mediate between us and God? We look to teachers, preachers, others to look for the Messiah while we wait for their experiences to somehow connect us to God. We must connect with God for ourselves, it cannot be vicariously lived through someone else. So, what is it that leads us to try to live in and with God in this way?
I believe the lie that gets in the way is we are not good enough for God. With this lie beating at our minds day in and day out we are driven to hide from God, not to seek Him. We find ourselves falling into the trap where our father Adam and mother Eve were caught, driving them and us to run and hide from the only One who can meet our every need. God’s grace reveals to us our need for Him, and our need for Him to chase us down. Grace teaches us we are incapable of seeking God, seeking our Messiah! And the Good News of God’s Grace is He seeks us out, calls for us, entreats us to let Him into our innermost self.
Daily we are faced with the question, “What’s next?” Will we strap on our traveling shoes and follow the Comforter as He leads us to the stable? Or will we choose, as Herod did, to prove we ourselves are the only king we need?
What will we be willing to destroy to protect the lies? Will we continue to protect the lie that drives us to hide from God, or the lie convincing me I don’t need another ruler in my kingdom? These are the lies the enemy plays in you and me like a violin virtuoso plays his instrument.
We often focus on the gifts the Wise Men brought to honor the Messiah, yet we are given a priceless gift in Jesus Christ as Messiah. The only gift we have, the only gift that we are able to give the Child in the Stable is we, ourselves!
What’s next? An opportunity to enter into a passionate and intimate relationship with the Messiah! Through the power of the Holy Spirit we may choose God’s gifts, choose the life that is ours through the Messiah. God gives to each and everyone the Gift of a life enfolded in His Grace, a life described in Zephaniah 3:17:
“The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
The Wise Men traveled months and years to give their gifts to Jesus. They came to receive from Him the only Gift that means anything and is everything to us, to our children, to our future, Jesus Christ our Messiah.
Herod chose to seek the “One born King of the Jews” for the purpose of destroying his competition. Herod believed the lie given to us by the enemy, we are the King! See what this lie did to Herod, the scholars, teachers, priests, the leadership of Gods church. It was a leadership driven to protect the status quo, protecting their understanding and vision of the messiah. This was the messiah created and defined by them, the same messiah created and defined by us.
What’s next? The opportunity to accept all your Creator has planned for you, the life, attitudes, thoughts, actions, and understandings which are ours through Him. Will your gift to the Messiah be you? Or will your gift be the lie declaring that we are entitled to the kingship that is God’s alone?
2014 offers each of us the chance to enter into an amazing experience, a challenge to receive all He has to gifted to us! 2014 is a chance to let the Holy Spirit recreate in us the truth that is Jesus. 2014 offers us the ability to choose Jesus, the Messiah! The gift of 2014 is Jesus our Messiah cocooning us into Him, providing all we need to be all He wants us to be, all He wants us to become!
God loves you with a love we cannot comprehend or even imagine, a love we don’t deserve, yet it is ours because of God’s Great Gift, Jesus.