TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Matthew 2:1-23
BOTTOM LINE: Herod Missed Jesus!
QUESTION: Have you ever been so preoccupied by the things of life that you missed Jesus around you?
Maybe the 1st Grinch wasn’t the one Dr. Seuss invented? Maybe the 1st Grinch [the 1st evil character to miss CHRISTmas even as he tried to destroy it] was Herod the Great, a cruel man known as The King Who Missed CHRISTmas.
Just as the Grinch stood on a mountain, overlooking a small village where CHRISTmas happened despite all efforts to destroy it, there was really a King who stood on his own mountain over the original CHRISTmas village too.
Consider the King who Missed CHRISTmas, and how difficult was it for him to miss it? International Scholars traveled a great distance to tell Herod of the event. His in-House advisors confirmed that the prophets had promised that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
Herod knew as much as anyone could have known about the very 1st CHRISTmas, and yet he missed it! He was a real-life Grinch, with blood dripping from his hands, and the truth of CHRISTmas slipped away from him as quickly as Mary & Joseph hurried towards Egypt [running form any chance of exposure to the terror of Herod].
ON the other hand, we have to understand this too. There were those in the same region who FOUND CHRISTmas. Nobody was quicker to the manger than the Shepherds who got the message from the Angels.
The heard the announcement worthy of Royalty, and they heard a song never before sung by human being. They rushed to the place where a baby lay in a manger, attended by a young couple from Nazareth.
The Shepherds worshipped Jesus and left as radically changed people … we said it last week … no one comes face to face w/ Jesus and is the same
Our CHRISTmas holiday season is surrounded [and immersed] and even defined at times by a Herodian-like wealth and luxury. A schedule that gives us almost no time to wait like the Shepherds on the news God Himself might want us to hear.
It can happen to the countless numbers of people who know the information about the CHRISTmas story without knowing the Christ of the Story. It can happen to committed believers, trapped in a schedule too full . and blinded by a gift list too long and expensive.
Finding CHRISTmas is critically important, and unless we follow the right example, we might find ourselves on top of our own little mountain … missing CHRISTmas in Who-ville … or Bethlehem.
The only way to find CHRISTmas is to find the Christ-Child. Of all the gifts surrounding this holiday season, Jesus is the only gift that can make a lasting different in any life.
In a culture so saturated w/ Christmas defined by Gift-Giving and Extravagant Spending … Finding CHRISTmas will require some planning and effort!
In other words, the heart of CHRISTmas isn’t in the stuff.
- Set aside time to FIND CHRISTmas.
- Be STILL and Rest.
- Bring your FAITH to the Manger.