“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men[ from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’ 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him…”
Herod heard and trembled. The long awaited majestic ruler prophesied of old (Micah 2-5) had arrived. Hundreds of years of anticipation. Mental and spiritual expectation. News was spreading as the star – His star, shone brightly in the East. The wise men, having knowledge of the Hebrew Scripture, had clued in on the most incredible event in human history. God’s plan was unfolding before their eyes. They desired one thing – to be eye witnesses of history making news. Cradling gifts and hope, they traveled afar and even inquired their earthly king for an update or directions.
Most likely Herod was versed in Old Testament prophesies. He knew a ruler would come to give light and hope to God’s people – a king whose name would be great and represent peace for His people. Instead, Herod clung to terror… fear of losing his throne, his royal robe, his empire.
FOMO (fear of missing out) ran as rampant in Herod’s day as it does at present. To give up what we cling to in order to receive what Christ has to offer represents an age old dilemma. Wealth, reputation, ownership, my rights… all things centered around me , myself, and I. Herod’s foolishness catapults as we read the account of Jesus’ birth. Yet, around us everywhere we turn, are those who fear giving up earthly goods in exchange for God’s offer of peace. We all have behaved foolishly when fear has controlled our every thought and action.
Herod took the lives of many as he forfeited one thing, the one person, who could’ve given him what his soul desperately needed. In the end he lost everything he strove to keep. Jim Elliott, a missionary who lost his life on the field, coined this famous statement, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
So this Christmas season let’s ponder the question, “Is there anything I may be clutching which would cause me to forfeit what God desires me to find – His Peace?”
The wise men followed the light before them. May we do likewise.