The Christmas Story Challenges Our Prejudices – Part 3

Rodger Woodworth

Herod didn’t know where Jesus was to be born so he calls on the religious experts, the spiritual insiders, who immediately identify the place where the Messiah is to be born.  These leaders know but they don’t follow, they don’t join the Magi on their spiritual quest for the new born King.  They fail to act on their biblical knowledge.  Jesus is just a baby after all, too small to be taken seriously.  They take Jesus for granted.  Sure they didn’t want to kill him like Herod,  they would wait another 30 years for that.

There is a thin spiritual line between wanting Jesus out of the way and taking him for granted.  We hold onto Him when it is convenient and lay him aside when we have more important things to do.  We follow Him when is is practical and withdraw when it is more comfortable.  God has always allowed Himself to be taken for granted.  Adam took him for granted when he chose the forbidden tree, David took him for granted when he went to Bathsheba and we take him for granted every time we chose sin over righteousness.  We take Him for granted every time we have trouble finding a place for him in our busy world of human activity.  It is worth noting that the first and last human act toward the incarnate God was an act of wrapping Him up and laying Him aside.  The first in a feed trough and the last in a borrowed tomb.

However, despite our preferences for occupying ourselves with the politically powerful or the spiritual elite, God continues to intrude into our lives.  Jesus’ life is bracketed by two impossibilities – a virgin’s birth and an empty tomb.  He entered through a door marked no entrance and left through a door marked no exit.  So what happens when God ignores the politically powerful and the spiritual elite to intrude into the lives of the pagan outsider?  They worship and go home another way.

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