Faith- or Fear?
It’s Christmas time. For some of us, the season brings peace, joy, and hope. For others, it brings fear.
We’re no different from the folks who walked this earth when the Messiah was born. Some of them responded with faith, and others with fear.
Which one do we represent?
The Wise Men
Those wise men were gentile people. Wealthy and scholars of the times, they set out on a journey. That journey exhibited Faith. They had studied the signs and the stars, and they recognized that this star was different. How far did they travel? How long did it take?
Why did they do this? They took that journey because of Faith. They believed that the star signified the birth of the Messiah. They came for one purpose: to worship. The wise men welcomed the Messiah because of their faith in His promised redemption and peace.
Herod, the King
Herod was King and the man with the most power. Yet when the wise men showed up in Jerusalem searching for the “newborn king”, he was troubled. He was also afraid. A new king meant a threat to his throne and his power. Herod was not about to give that up. He sent the wise men on to Bethlehem and told them to come back and tell him where the child was so that he could come and worship, also. Bah humbug. He had no such intentions! He sent them on their way, asking for their return because he had plans to get rid of the threat. Herod, the most powerful man, responded in Fear.
This is why an angel told Joseph to take “the young child and his mother” and flee to Egypt. In the middle of the night!
“Because Herod,” the angel said, “is looking for the child so he can kill Him.”
Herod had one purpose: to protect his power. He couldn’t welcome the Messiah because He posed a threat to his reign and his power. Herod feared the Messiah because He promised an end to pomp and prestige for the king and the beginning of a new reign. Herod was afraid.
Are we a Herod or a Wise Man?
How is it with you and with me this Christmas season? Are we like the wise men or are we like Herod? Do we respond in Faith, or do we respond in Fear to the promise of a Savior?
Our response will direct the course of our lives. Choose Faith, not Fear!