2. Who was disturbed by the arrival of the Magi and their questions and why were they disturbed?
First of all, Herod was disturbed but it wasn’t just him, it was all of Jerusalem. This is the first hint in the Gospels that the Jewish leaders were not open to receiving the Messiah. Their first thoughts were not on how they could honor God and the Messiah. They were more concerned with the possibility that they were going to be booted out of power by this new king. Certainly that was Herod’s attitude. He wasn’t Jewish, he was appointed by Rome to rule over Judea.
However, that leaves the rest of Jerusalem. Why were they disturbed? Weren’t they the religious leaders, the ones that were following God?
To make it personal, if you turned on the news and saw a live coverage of Jesus descending on the Mount of Olives, how would you feel? What would be your thoughts? You know that Jesus is returning to take control of the whole world and that He will be reigning as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Would your first thoughts be about yourself and how you life is now going to be changed? You don’t know what is going to happen to the economy, your job, or your savings. Would you wonder if your country would remain a sovereign nation, or would it suddenly have to obey a bunch of new laws as handed down by Jesus? What would happen to your church, your denomination? Would you have to change the way you worship, would you now have to keep the Sabbath or not work on Sundays?
If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior and Lord and saw Him coming with the clouds and those crazy Christians were shouting that He was coming as the supreme ruler of the earth, what would you think? Would you try to fight Him so that you could retain your independence? Or would you feign obedience just to protect yourself? Is it any different when you hear someone say that you need to turn to Jesus to be saved? You may say you don’t believe in Jesus, but why don’t you? Is it really because you know deep down that if you admit He is who He says He is, then you need to be obedient to Him – you simply don't want to change?
Or would you be like the Simeon, Anna, or even the shepards? Luke 2:25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. (NIV) Luke 2:38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. (NIV) Luke 2:15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." (NIV) Simon was waiting for Jesus to appear. He was old but God had promised that he would see the Messiah. He was living for that moment. Anna was also old and when Jesus was presented in the temple, she recognized Him and spoke to others in Jerusalem who were also looking forward to the Messiah. The shepherds were open to God’s message and His leading. They wanted to see the Messiah.
We need to be open to change every day when God brings about that change. When we read the Bible, we should be looking for the areas in our life where we can welcome the Messiah into our lives and make the changes He wants. We should not be looking for ways to keep the status quo but should always be asking God to reveal His plan to us. He may not reveal great and wondrous things as He did to the shepherds, Simeon, and Anna. But He may reveal to us ways that we can become more like Jesus.
Eph 4:23-24 To be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (NIV) As an example of welcoming internal change, this is a great passage. These verses are preceded (verse 22) by talking about putting off your old self and putting on the new self. I’ve read this many times. However, when I started committing them to memory they opened up much clearer than ever before. What struck me most was that the new self is created to like God in true righteousness and holiness. I really had to stop and think about that. This new creation that God has brought about in me is created to be righteous and holy. It isn’t just my ideas about righteousness and holiness but true holiness – that means God’s ideas and even more, the reality of His righteousness and holiness. That inspires me to let Him renew the attitude of my mind to be more like Him.
However, if you have never surrendered to Jesus, you don’t have an old self to put off and a new self to put on. Only when you turn to Jesus as Lord and Savior (the Lord part is very important – that means obedience to Him) then you are a new creation and not before. 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (NIV) If you haven’t surrendered to Him, do it today before He does come and it is too late.