WHERE WERE THE WORSHIPPERS?
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “ ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’ ” Matthew 2:2-6
Herod knew who to ask about a new baby King, the one he feared would threaten his throne. He went straight to the Jewish priests and scribes who knew the scriptures. When asked, they immediately quoted this passage from Micah about the Messiah being born in Bethlehem. These men didn’t need to consult with each other for an answer. It was on their tongue. They knew the scriptures.
So where were they at the birth of Jesus? We don’t read that any religious leaders came to bow down and worship. Jerusalem was only seven miles away from them. (The Magi traveled a thousand miles!) The gate is wide for those who reject the Messiah and narrow for anyone who seeks Him out. Never was this more clearly seen than in the scarcity of worshippers at Jesus’ birth.
Knowledge and passion can be mutually exclusive. I can know my Bible as well as a Pharisee and easily become as callous as they were. They lived around the corner from Mary and Joseph, and they were also the ones who weren’t spiritually alive enough to see if Jesus was the One they had been longing for throughout their entire Jewish history.
Jesus, You are the end of my quest. Whatever it takes to journey to You is worth any effort and any sacrifice. Amen