TWO KINDS OF OPPOSITION TO JESUS - John Piper
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. —Matthew 2:3
Jesus is troubling to people who do not want to worship him, and he brings out opposition for those who do. This is probably not a main point in the mind of Matthew, but it is inescapable as the story goes on. In this story, there are two kinds of people who do not want to worship Jesus, the Messiah. The first kind is the people who simply do nothing about Jesus. He is a nonentity in their lives. This group is represented by the chief priests and scribes. Verse 4: “Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, [Herod] inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.” Well, they told him, and that was that: back to business as usual. The sheer silence and inactivity of the leaders is overwhelming in view of the magnitude of what was happening. And notice, verse 3 says, “When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” In other words, the rumor was going around that someone thought the Messiah was born. The inactivity on the part of chief priests is staggering—why not go with the magi? They are not interested. They do not want to worship the true God. The second kind of people who do not want to worship Jesus is the kind who is deeply threatened by him. That is Herod in this story. He is really afraid. So much so that he schemes and lies and then commits mass murder just to get rid of Jesus. So today these two kinds of opposition will come against Christ and his worshipers: indifference and hostility. Are you in one of those groups? Let this Christmas be the time when you reconsider the Messiah and ponder what it is to worship him.
I find it ironic and frankly quite unsettling that those who want nothing to do with Jesus are the ones who claim to be the most religious.
I may not go around talking about how religious I am but I do consider myself religious, and I’d be lying if I said that’s never made me feel a sense of pride in my heart because, let’s be honest, there’s nothing like feeling like you are doing things “right.” The catch, however, is that the more secure I feel in my “rightness” the less necessary Jesus Christ becomes. If I’m already saved then what use is a Savior?
I believe that the only combatant to the indifference that is so quick to take root in my heart is to embrace a posture of confession. Like it or not, my brokenness is something I can’t escape and the sooner I admit that the better off I am, for it was said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
So if we want to worship the Messiah this Christmas, let us begin on our knees.