Matthew 2:1-3 – 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 in the east and have come to worship him." When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. (NIV)
Christmas Day had been a letdown. Anticipation of the day had given way to disappointment over gifts not received, specifically a Toni doll. As advertised on television, this doll came with curlers for her blond hair that could be used to roll and style her hair with the toy comb. But I didn't get one. Adding humiliation to disappointment, the day after Christmas, I found out that my neighbour girl did get one. So did other girls in my school. I didn't get the one gift that I'd coveted. What a letdown!
In contrast, Herod did receive something that he absolutely didn't want: news that disturbed him. Being familiarized by his counsellors with the Jewish expectations of a Messiah who would save Israel from her oppressors, namely himself, he was naturally disturbed. And when Herod got upset, so did everyone else, because it meant that heads would likely roll, literally. This paranoid, blood-soaked ruler had murdered his own sons. What was one more murder to this serial killer?
Unfortunately, the clueless Magi, aka wise men, did what anyone seeking to pay homage to a newborn prince would do. They had gone to the palace — not a very wise thing to do. As a result of their visit, Herod unleashed mayhem and murder on Bethlehem's male babies and toddlers. But the holy family got away in good time because Joseph heeded an angelic warning given in a dream.
Likewise, we've been given a warning word to save us from a fate worse than Herod's sword. We've been told that Jesus was born in Bethlehem to save folk just like us. All we need to do is to believe this news and accept Jesus as our friend and rescuer.
If you've not done this yet, please, please do this. It's urgent. In order to be spared from a fate worse than death — eternal separation from all that's good, peaceful, and desirable — please pray the following prayer.
Prayer: God, I admit that I've royally messed up and need to be pardoned through Jesus, the Messiah. I'm told that Jesus' offer is free of charge, that there's nothing that I can do to earn it. I'm taking You at Your word and asking for Your forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Please help me to live a life that shows my change of heart. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "A Little Child The Saviour Came" (Lyrics)