Sunday Sermon 

REACTIONS TO THE BIRTH OF CHRIST

 

January 6, 2019

Rocherty Church 

Text: Matthew   2:1-12

 

“It was May 21, 1946. The place - Los Alamos. A young and daring scientist was carrying out a necessary experiment in preparation for the atomic test to be conducted in the waters of the South Pacific atoll at Bikini. “He had successfully performed such an experiment many times before. In his effort to determine the amount of U-235 necessary for a chain reaction—scientists call it the critical mass—he would push two hemispheres of uranium together. Then, just as the mass became critical, he would push them apart with his screwdriver, thus instantly stopping the chain reaction. But that day, just as the material became critical, the screwdriver slipped! The hemispheres of uranium came too close together. Instantly the room was filled with a dazzling bluish haze. Young Louis Slotin, instead of ducking and thereby possibly saving himself, tore the two hemispheres apart with his hands and thus interrupted the chain reaction. By this instant, self-forgetful daring, he saved the lives of the seven other persons in the room. . . As he waited for the car that was to take him to the hospital, he said quietly to his companion, ‘You’ll come through all right. But I haven’t the faintest chance myself’ It was only too true. Nine days later he died in agony. Nineteen centuries ago the Son of the living God walked directly into sin’s most concentrated radiation, allowed Himself to be touched by its curse, and let it take His life . . . But by that act He broke the chain reaction. He broke the power of sin.

Planet in Rebellion, George Vandeman.

Every person will have one of these reactions when it comes to the knowledge of Christ:

 

1. Herod Responded with ANGER and ANIMOSITY.

Most people don’t mind the proclamation that Jesus has come as Savior. Everybody wants a Savior.

But here the proclamation was that Jesus was coming as KING.

Herod is so angry in fact, that he had every child 2 years and under murdered, according to the time when the wise men saw the star.

Many people become angry when they realize that Christ has come not only as Savior but as the King of our lives. They don’t want to give up the throne and control of their lives.

2. The Chief Priest and Scribes Responded with APATHY.

Herod called for them and demanded to know where the Christ should be born. AND they knew the answer where the child was to be born.

They didn’t say, "we don’t know". They KNEW the answer. But knowing the answer became an end in itself. As the word says, "Professing to be wise, they became fools."

They knew the answer but didn’t care enough to go see the Christ child for themselves.

It seems that everyone can tell you the story of Jesus but how many really know Him personally as Savior and King.

3. The Wise Men Reacted with ANTICIPATION.

They were searching diligently. When the star appeared, they packed up and left to see the Christ child.

Not much is known about these men, but they evidently held on to some of the teachings of Daniel. To know that there shall come a STAR out of Jacob (Numbers 24:17).

Now we make assumptions based on evidence in the Word.

They must have traveled a long way and taken a long time. (Matt 2:16) Herod had all the males 2 years and under murdered, according to the time they spotted the star (Matt. 2:7). Proof is, they were late for the birth, (Matt. 2:11) when they were come into the HOUSE where the young CHILD was, not the stable and a baby.

The star somewhere along the way disappeared.

They followed it,

then it disappeared,

they asked Herod,

the priests answered,

they left Herod headed for Bethlehem,

the star reappeared and in v9 "and stood over where the YOUNG CHILD WAS", and in verse 10, they rejoiced when they saw the star, AFTER the Herod encounter.

Conclusion:

When confronted with Christ we can react with:

ANGER as Herod

APATHY as the chief priest and scribes

Or ANTICIPATION and willingness to go the extra miles the Wise Men traveled.

WHICH ONE ARE YOU?