And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, and thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. -Matthew 2:5, 6 (KJV)
Anyone who has spent any time in church, especially around Christmas will be at least a little familiar with this account. King Herod tried to pull off a ruse in order to find out where Joseph and Mary were keeping Jesus. Do you know what a ruse is? A ruse is a deception, a trick, or a lie to gain information. Herod thought that he could discover where the Christ-child was, not so he could worship, but so he could have him killed. Such was the depravity of this man who was a ruler at that time in Jerusalem.
This brings to mind some serious issues. One is the question of how we can sincerely worship the Lord and honor Christ this season in spite of the depravity of the world. The second issue involves how we can worship the Lord and honor the birth of Christ in the midst of all the hypocrisy in the world. Remember brethren that we are to be the light of Christ in a lost, dying, and hurting world that has for too long been shrouded in the darkness of sin. The only force powerful enough to pierce that darkness is Jesus Christ.
This past summer the world was captivated by a group of miners in Chile, South America who were trapped underground for 69 days. One source said they were three miles from the entrance. No doubt that situation looked hopeless. Those men might have given up. But then against all odds hope broke through. Rescuers were able to pierce the mine and send food to the men and ultimately bring them up to the surface. What a blessing to hear some of those men praising God and giving thanks to Him for His protection and deliverance. One even spoke of a wonderful presence with them that was the Lord. To me this is a picture of what Christ has done for us. We were like those miners trapped underground without hope of rescue. But Jesus Christ broke the power of sin, evil, death, and darkness and has brought us safely to a higher and safer place.
Only Jesus Christ could accomplish such a great work of redemption on our behalf. Christ has accomplished this for us and has overcome the darkness of sin. Look to Jesus today and find the salvation He offers. Let us worship Him with glad and sincere hearts.