Like the inn keeper, we can miss Christmas through preoccupation with the activities of our temporal pursuits.Â Or, like Herod, fear of losing our thrones of control and being required to bow to Jesus as King of our lives, may keep us from embracing the real heart of Christmas.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â But, there is a third avenue taken by many that causes them to miss the real claims of this most awesome celebration.Â The sad truth is that this â€œmissâ€ is illustrated by the spiritual leaders who were guiding the Jews at the time of Jesusâ€™ birth.Â Even though they claimed to be looking for their Messiah, who would deliver them from bondage like Moses had delivered their ancestors from Egypt, (Deut. 18:15) they were unmoved by the questions of the wise men.Â In fact, they were so indifferent to the signs being brought to their attention that they did not even bother to travel the five miles to Bethlehem to check the possibilities for themselves.Â After all, these eastern men were not Jews, so what did they know? These leaders were so engrossed in their own pride, their own self- righteousness, and their own ritual and petty discussions in the confines of their own comfortable system that they were indifferent to anything that might disrupt their satisfaction.Â They were blinded by their pride, which is the real source of indifference. And pride finds its roots in unbelief.Â Their system of religion was what they believed in; not the God who gave them the law as a mirror to reveal their need of a Savior-not from Rome, but from their sin.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â May the Lord grant us the ability to see ourselves as He sees us and to allow Him to daily cleanse us by the â€œwashing of the water by the Word,â€ (Eph. 5:26) which is His magnifying glass that is able to reveal with surgical precision that which is soulish (self-serving) and that which is spiritual (service to God).Â (Hebrews 4:12)
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Read again the reaction of the spiritual leaders at that first Christmas in Matthew 2:1-6.