The stark realities of how leadership and follower-ship work on planet earth surrounded the birth of Jesus. The Magi, or kings of the East, were carefully following the light they had. An unusual celestial phenomenon, a moving star, was leading them to the legendary Leader of all leaders. God has always provided the light needed to find Jesus. The willingness or unwillingness of the heart determines whether that light can be seen. (John 1:9…the true Light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.)
Strangers arrived in Jerusalem asking questions. “Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” Herod called in the Chief Priests and teachers of the Old Testament scriptures. His question, “Where was the Christ to be born?” was answered immediately. “In Bethlehem in Judea for this is what the prophet has written,” they quoted Hosea 11:1.
Strangely, these Bible-answer men were not interested in finding Jesus themselves. The scripture was for answers…not for discovering the answer Himself. They never even bothered to join the Magi’s search. Here’s how the players stack up:
- The Magi were honest seekers, following whatever scrap of information they could find.
- Herod was a dishonest seeker, eager to dismantle any potential challenge to his control.
- The religious leaders were intellectual seekers. Truth was useful as a tool but was never allowed to lead them to a real encounter with supreme reality. Religion was their kingdom. Indifference was their protective wall.
It is important to realize that the New Testament opens with what amounts to a devastating exposure of the basic problem of the human heart. In one vivid, brutal story, scripture rips the cover off all human pretenses. All of our hearts have been tested by God’s spiritual electrocardiograph. The history of our personal heart problem with heaven’s leadership is exposed. Some of us seek Him, find Him and worship Him; some attack Him; most of us ignore Him.
(Excerpt taken from The Safe King book and study guide. Dig deeper and find out more by getting your copy of The Safe King on Amazon).