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Star Gazers

December 21st, 2011 No comments

Three Responses to the Messiah

Matthew’s account introduces us to three groups/kinds of people, each with different responses to the news of the arrival of the Messiah.

#2 Star-Gazers

The second group is represented by the religious folks, namely the chief priests and the scribes.

Look again at Matthew 2:4.

And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

Here we see the response of the religious professionals. They gather for the briefing with Herod.

That’s it.

End of the story.

For them, it’s back to business as usual. Except for the fact that Jesus is their business!

The coming of the Messiah is what every Jew longed for. The Messiah was the long awaited, God-anointed King, who would overcome all the corrupt, tyrannical governments of this world to establish His own Kingdom, founded upon righteousness, truth and mercy. This King and His kingdom would never end!

Now the time has come and the Messiah is reported to have come to Bethlehem, right in their backyard, and they are completely disinterested.

The greatest event in the history of the world comes to their town and they are totally disengaged. Yawn. Is it time to go back to the Temple yet????

The apathy of the religious leaders is especially stunning given the atmosphere of the city. Look at verse 3:

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
The whole city is in an uproar. Everyone is talking about the possibility of the Messiah’s arrival to planet earth and to Bethlehem. Everyone, that is, with the exception of those who are tasked as the treasure keepers! The one’s in charge of proclaiming the prophetic promises and pointing people to His coming are AWOL!

They are merely star gazers! They have no interest in following the star for themselves. They are like Christians who love to attend Bible studies but who have no desire to relate personally with the One the Book is all about. They love the idea of Christ, and the stories about Him but they have no desire to engage with the real Person. He’s much too scary and unpredictable in real life. He’s safer and more manageable when kept within the confines of a Book.

As a result of their spiritual pride and blindness, they missed the Messiah.

Do you like the warm, fuzzy feelings of the Christmas season more than the stark, courageous call to be a follower of the Man, Christ Jesus? Are you content with the idea of Jesus, or would you take the challenge to know Him in a personal way?