December 23 – Matthew 2:1-8. Peace on Earth?

Friday, December 23, 2011

December 23 – Matthew 2:1-8. Peace on Earth?

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 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.” 

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 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. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 

      “ ‘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.’” 

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” 

There is an interesting difference between the Luke and Matthew story – beyond the fact that one tells us of the shepherds and the other of the wise men.

Luke’s story tells us how the angels promised peace on earth because of the Savior’s birth.

Matthew’s story tells us that not only was King Herod upset at the possibility of the birth of the Messiah, but all of Jerusalem was also disturbed along with their King.

This doesn’t bode well for the beginning of the story of our Messiah.  Before He can even speak, people are frightened of what He might say and do!

Herod sent the wise men to search for the Messiah … just in case the prophecies might be true.  He wanted to deal with this little problem all by himself before it could upset his reign as the king of the Jews.

Peace on Earth?  Not while Jesus walked on the earth as a man this time. That’s far, far away and just in case we didn’t understand that truth, we are introduced right away to just a little bit of the stress that Jesus would encounter throughout His lifetime and Christians would continually encounter throughout history.