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Have you ever taken one…

October 1, 2007

of those personality tests that categorizes how you generally behave and likely handle different situations? There are several out there, and I’ve tried quite a few. The results can not only be revealing, but embarrassing when discovering that one of your strengths is attractively labeled “boldly authoritative, able to make decisions”. Then you flip the page to see your weaknesses and the same area is not so attractively labeled “bossy, pushy when you don’t get your way”. Ahem. That happened to a friend of mine.

Anyway, chapter 2 in Matthew doesn’t have a personality test per se, but it does reveal four types of people and the attitudes each type demonstrates towards the news of Jesus. A pertinent lesson can be applied when considering the chapter and asking, which type of person do I show myself to be to the news that Jesus is King?

The first type is seen in Herod who was the political king of the region. He was installed by the Romans and terribly, even insanely paranoid, about losing his position. While history details the smart political moves he made in organization and infrastructure, it equally details his incredible cruelty and madman behavior of killing several family members for fear they would take his throne.

When he hears the news about a king of the Jews, his reaction is “disturbed”. In the South, we might say, “Herod about laid a duck when he heard the news.” Of course, harking back to another Southernism, “When Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.” You see the same result in the people of the region in the words, “and all Jerusalem with him.” Disturbed that is.

The upshot being that Herod goes a bit more nuts thinking he’s about to be usurped, and the people go a bit more weak-kneed to think what will happen to them if their status quo gets overturned, and my goodness, what if they have to choose who to obey?

The chief priest and scribes would seem to hold level heads at best above the hoopla, indifferent at worst, and simply look into the scriptures to find out where this new king has been born. They discover the truth in scripture as Bethlehem, royal city of David. Hmmm, wonder if they wonder about prophecy being fulfilled, that God’s Word would show itself true? Or maybe the theology just seems too complicated.

Since it’s the Magi who started all the ruckus, it bears a closer look at them as the ones to put the whole kit and kaboodle to shame. These Magi are astronomers from the East, probably Persia, who did not have the Old Testament scriptures, did not have the Law or the temple ceremonies, did not have any, or very limited, light as to the coming of Christ.

But what light they did have, they followed with an attitude of expectation. When the light was a star, they packed up and went all the way to Jerusalem. When the light was what God’s word said, they kept going another six miles down the road to Bethlehem. When the light showed itself in the person of Jesus, they knelt and worshiped with great joy, and gave precious gifts of treasure in gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Not like Herod, who violently opposed the Lordship of any other in his life.
Not like the people, afraid to have their schedule or status quo upset.
Not like the chief priests and scribes, uncaring that the Messiah as told in their scriptures was born and required their worshipful obedience.

Not like us today, right?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 2, 2007 9:19 am

    I want to be like the Magi not like the religious snobs! I hope I’m not a religious snob that misses seeing Jesus. Thank’s Elle for your Matthew study.

  2. October 2, 2007 3:01 pm

    I want to cause a ruckus for Jesus and be faithful to carry it through to the end! Great post

  3. October 2, 2007 4:18 pm

    A friend of yours? Are you SURE? 🙂

    Kneel and worship…yes, that’s where I want to be…

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