It was the season of new, special taxation – a hardship and inconvenience for everyone under Herod’s rule. Many had to travel to get to the required location of their birth to pay these taxes. Mary was not exempted because “the time was accomplished that she should be delivered” of her first-born child. These were some of the circumstances surrounding God’s “fullness of time” when He “sent forth His Son.” (Gal. 4:4)
Jesus’ birth was announced to some shepherds who came quickly to the stable to welcome and worship this miracle Son of God. Most people went about their business as usual until more important people – wealthy wise men from the East – stirred Herod’s court with inquiries concerning where to find this long awaited King of the Jews. They had seen ‘His Star’ and had come to worship Him with precious gifts – not for Herod, but for the Baby King. This incited the jealous Herod to commit infanticide throughout the region in an effort to destroy the right one. All baby boys, two years old and younger, living in or near Bethlehem, were destroyed by his decree.
The shepherds and wise men worshiped Him, Herod tried to kill him, many parents mourned the loss of their own beloved sons, but most people continued to go about the normal activities of their daily lives.
Where do you fit in? Are you worshiping, worrying, or just indifferent? Remember, though we can now choose how we respond, “One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is LORD, to the glory of God, the Father.” – even Herod’s knee will bow, along with yours and mine. (Phil. 2:10-11; Rom. 14:11; Isa. 45:23)
Would you rather receive Him now as your Savior, or wait to face Him as your judge? It’s your choice.