And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also” (Matthew 2:8).
Some people may think that, now that Christmas is over, the story about the birth of Jesus is also over. The reality is, the story of the birth of Jesus is timeless – it’s the beginning of the foundation blocks laid out by God for mankind’s salvation. Studies of the accounts about the birth of Jesus reveal some significant testimonies surrounding his birth; all to prove that, the baby Jesus is the Messiah. One of such testimonies came from the Magi (the Wise men from the East). They came with a story of seeing baby Jesus’ star which guided them to Bethlehem; and eventually to Mary and Joseph with the baby lying in a manger. Prior to seeing baby Jesus, the Magi went to Jerusalem to inquire about the exact place where the baby had been born? Upon hearing this, King Herod became jealous that another king has been born. He summoned the chief priests and teachers of the law and asked them “where the Christ was to be born? “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied (Matthew 2:4c & 5a).
Herod called the Magi and told them; “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also” (Matthew 2:8b). Question? Was Herod genuinely interested in going to worship baby Jesus or he was playing tricks on the Magi? From all indications, it could be conjectured that, he (Herod) was devising evil means of getting rid of baby Jesus. Herod knows that as a king, who has been given the right by the Roman government to oversee Jerusalem and its surroundings, it was highly unlikely that he would allow anybody, whether adult or child to usurp his authority. King Herod was trying to consolidate his power over the Jews. It was a similar strategy the Serpent (Satan) used to trick Eve and Adam into eating the forbidden fruit. Satan knows that, when Eve and Adam breaks the rule given to them by God, he will eventually be in the driver’s seat to control their lives; and rightly so.
Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, man has been in bondage of sin and damnation. The coming of Jesus therefore marks the dawn of a new era. Man is no longer under the dominion of sin. However, he will have to acknowledge his sins, and ask for forgiveness through the shed of blood of Jesus. This simple, but profound act will bring complete freedom to anyone irrespective of race, gender or status. Writing to the Galatians Paul said; It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1 NIV). My prayer is that, each one of us will weigh every word – both sugar coated and sour to discern what is behind such utterances? King Herod was motivated by jealousy to cunningly use any means to get rid of baby Jesus; but that didn’t work. In the same way, every weapon the devil will form against us will not work.
As always, let’s continue to hold each other’s hand and pray for ourselves as the coming of Jesus draws closer. Do send this study to your contacts as well.
Dr. Charles Mantey
Disiciples Revival Church
NOTE: My second book titled: Understanding Love: Biblical & Cultural Perspectives has just being released. This is a great study material on love. Get your copy at Amazon.
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