- JESUS’ BIRTH THREATENED MANY PEOPLE.
“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi came from the east to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and we have come to worship him. When King Herod heard this, he was disturbed and all Jerusalem with him.” Matthew 2:1-3
Q: Why do people feel threatened by a possible competitor? And have you ever felt threatened by the position of someone else?
“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 make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.’” Matthew 2:7, 8
Q: When threatened, where do you find yourself emotionally?
“When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.” “Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” Matthew 2:16-18
Q: How do you typically deal with being threatened?
Q: What do you think about the fact that Jesus wants to call the shots in your life?
A human plot cannot stop a divine plan.
2. JESUS’ BIRTH DIDN’T SEEM TO MATTER FOR SOME.
“When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ 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 be the shepherd of my people Israel.”’” Matthew 2:4-6
Q: Why didn’t the scribes and the Rabbis make the trip themselves?
Q: Do you think it’s possible to know the Bible, and ignore the King? If so, how does this happen?
3. JESUS’ BIRTH WAS RECEIVED BY A FEW.
“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.” Luke 2:25
Q: Why do you think God chose Simeon to hold and experience the new born King?
“It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation…’” Luke 2:26-30
Q: What do you think life was like for Simeon before and after the fulfillment of this promise from God?
“Jesus,” means-the One who SAVES.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them…’” Revelation 21:1-3a
Q: Where do you see yourself in this story? Herod? Jewish Leaders? Simeon? Why? And what do you need to do to move out of that response or strengthen it?