**Please be sure to read all around this passage so that you are getting it in context; and as always, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to the understanding that He would have you see. Passage: Matthew 2:1-12
This is the description by Matthew of the birthplace of Jesus and the circumstances surrounding His birth.
Interesting that wise men from another country (the east) were the ones who actually had studied the ancient text and knew not only of the expected arrival of the Messiah, but they responded to that knowledge with action; came to find Him and pay homage. We learn that the leaders and teachers of religious law knew where Jesus would come from, but they were too entrenched in their ideas of a Messiah coming with great earthly power to release them from Roman bondage that they completely "missed the boat".
King Herod, the acting "King" of the Jews, immediately saw the arrival of Jesus as a threat to his power. He fully intended to do away with Jesus as soon as he found Him. Angels warn the wise men not to reveal the location of Jesus to Herod to protect His life.
I find the response from Herod very interesting. If I understand correctly, Herod was a Jew as well. He, like all the other Jews, should have been waiting for the coming of the Messiah with great anticipation and longing. Instead, he saw it as a threat to his earthly power. He enjoyed his position and could only see the change a Messiah would bring as something to be feared. How do you respond to the idea of the second coming of Jesus? How do I?
Are we filled with joy at the thought? Are we filled with dread? Do we worry more about the conditions we will be living in (of which our minds love to "fill in the blanks") at the end of time or do we care only that the conflict will finally be brought to a conclusion...the battle will finally be won. Are we worried that we won't be able to experience this thing or that thing before He comes? Is there that one special worldly pleasure that just seems to say "If Jesus comes, you won't be able to enjoy meeee anymore..."
Lately I have been thinking of the coming of Jesus more. I feel in my heart that He is coming very soon. Things are happening world wide in the political realm, in nature, and on the human level that cry out "HE IS COMING SOON"; yet I continue to sit on the fence and play the part of a christian... on the outside...while the heart seems to be unchanged. I don't want to be a plastic christian any longer. I want to be ready when Jesus comes. I want Him to see me and say, "I know you. We spent many mornings and evenings together. You sought My counsel when things were confusing. You sought My comfort when things were hard. You shared your joy with Me when you were happy, and you shared your tears when life overwhelmed. Yes, I know you well and you will now know Me, clearly. No longer looking to Me through a cloudy mirror." I can only do those things that will help me to know Him and Him to know me...the question remains...when will I start doing them?
I do long for the day when sin will be defeated. Temptation will cease. Love will abound and blossom to what it really is and what it will forever be...the Character of God shown and lived in the lives of His children; felt and embraced by them from God... perfectly.
Dear Loving Father in Heaven,
Thank You so much for your promise to come back and take us home; where You are is home. Thank you for all that You provide now, while I am still a captive of this world. Thank You for providing a way of escape. Lord, please continue to work on my heart....continue to soften it and make it able to hear Your voice. I do want to change Lord, but sometimes it seems that I am swimming upstream in a river of molasses. I sense that there is a place, upstream, that will get easier to swim in. Maybe Lord, the molasses stays the same but my arms and legs (through your help) become stronger and it will become easier to swim. I do know that I must choose to swim otherwise I just get carried wherever the river flows. So, Lord I am asking for Your strength and guidance. Give me the power to choose to swim. Give me the power to move forward. Then help me to always swim toward You. Though my sinful nature seeks to hide it, my heart truly does want to know You more.
Please be with me and my family today. Guide us as we spend time with Your children. Help us to be a blessing to them.
Thank you for being able to forgive our sins. Thank you for forgiving my sin. Thank you for all that you do for us. We love You Lord; I love You Lord. Amen.