I love getting gifts! And I know you do too! It’s one of my favorite things about Christmas! (…and my birthday…Valentine’s Day…………President’s Day…etc.)
As I read the story of Jesus’ birth in Matthew chapter 2 I see something interesting about the idea of giving gifts. Christians have adopted the gift-giving process from the gifts of the Magi (wisemen) who gave baby Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh. They followed a star until they found Him and then they worshipped Him and honored Him with gifts. How cool!
But there’s another character who responds very differently to the gift of Jesus. King Herod, upon discovering a new king has been born is “disturbed”. I’ve gotten some really strange gifts over the years, but I can’t think of one that has “disturbed” me! Herod then plots out to kill baby Jesus, and all children under age 2. What is going on here?!
Herod’s response to God’s gift of baby Jesus is often identical to our response to God’s gift of Lord Jesus. Herod got wind that his reign was over and someone else would take the throne, and he felt threatened! But, don’t we sometimes respond the same way when God’s will doesn’t line up with what we want? When our emotions conflict with God’s commands? When the Holy Spirit calls us out for living in sin?
I am easily shocked by Herod’s murderous response to baby Jesus, as I’m sure you are as well. Let’s make sure that we don’t share his response to Jesus being Lord of our lives. Jesus was born into the world to bring life and salvation, and He is the only one who deserves to be on the throne of our hearts. Let’s respond like the Magi…seek Him out, surrender our gifts and sacrifice our identity to glorify Him.