by James Jester
“When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him” (Matthew 2:3).
Misgiving: qualm, doubt, reservation; suspicion; (misgivings) distrust, mistrust, lack of confidence, second thoughts; trepidation, skepticism, unease, uneasiness, anxiety, apprehension.
Probably most devout and sincere Christians, at least some time in their life, have had second thoughts about Christmas being the birth of Jesus, the Christ child. And, for good reason, things like: commercialism, pagan customs, and the catholic mass. But, that is a different subject.
God’s enemies had some anxieties about the birth of our Savior. King Herod certainly was suspicious of a prophesied king out of Bethlehem. And, he set out to kill the baby. Even all of Jerusalem had a sense of uneasiness about the prospect of a new king coming to perhaps interfere with their choice of lifestyle. Did the people of Jerusalem love their sins too much?
Let us carry this idea over to our time and place. Suppose a new prophesied king were to appear in our capital city, Washington, DC, with the intention of “cleaning up the swamp.” Sin has got to go; and we will follow God’s Law. There’s a lot of people in America (besides politicians) who would have much trepidation over this idea.
But today everyone is quite happy to take part in seasonal celebrations. From the most moral Christian to the lowest of the pagans – all will “deck the halls with boughs of holly” and buy gifts for their family and friends.
Why? Could it be that Christmas is not really Christian to begin with?
As long as this holiday is shown as a little baby in a manger and not a conquering King, it is perfectly acceptable. And, as long as this holiday loves and accepts everybody as they are, like the “goodwill toward men” theme (wrongly interpreted), it is acceptable.
However, our Lord Jesus Christ (“infant holy, infant lowly”), once grown to a man, said this, “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me” (Luke 19:27).
Oh, we have enemies? There are those who will not have the King to rule over them? And the King, Jesus, has them executed? Yes! Is this what Herod and his accomplices feared? He was of Edomite blood and there were many of such a racial mix in Jerusalem at the time. How often is this a part of the alleged Christmas story?
Are we talking about a different Jesus here? It appears so! A Jesus who loves everybody and will “save” anybody is not the Jesus of the Bible.
The Bible declares, “He shall save His people from their sins” (Mat. 1:21).
Who are “His people?” All one needs to do is read the context of where this verse is found, the book of Matthew, to find out. It provides the whole genealogy.
Or, one can read anywhere in the Bible to find out who are God’s people and who is addressed. Here is a prime example:
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chr. 7:14).
Again, look at the entire chapter here in Chronicles and see who is meant by “people.” Here is part of the context,
“…he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had shewed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people” (2 Chr. 7:10).
According to the Bible, His people are those of Israel. It is not those who go to a church, be baptized, be “saved,” or make a profession of faith. It is racial: those born from above – the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, those whom God had made a Covenant with. No one else is in mind here. This is the whole context of the Bible.
Christmas, as a birthday, is acceptable to everybody. A baby Jesus is not seen as a threat. But the fulfillment of His coming is definitely a threat to established policy and practice, in both politics and religion.
Jesus is a king and His kingdom is certainly a threat. However, His kingdom is not for everybody – it is only for “His people.” God’s kingdom is a covenant promise to Israel. This exclusiveness of Israel is very unpopular today; and it is not a part of the Christmas story.
The main reason for the popularity of Christmas and the holidays that surround it is that the season has no covenant and is therefore inclusive to all peoples (or races). The Bible speaks of a covenant, which is not open to all people, only Israel.