This week, Pastor Chris continued in our Christmas series with a word on four responses to Jesus’ birth that we should avoid. It’s so easy to lose Jesus in the Christmas season, but we want to be followers who respond to him rightly. Rather than closing off our hearts in entitlement, control or pride, may we open our hearts and praise him for his birth and life.
Luke 2:45–49 (NLT)
45 When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. 46 Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. 47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.” 49 “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
Four Responses to Jesus’ birth
- Inn Keeper – The inn keeper said there was no room for Mary and Joseph, but the reality was that he had no room in his heart to help them. The enticements and cares of this world were more important to him and he missed the great opportunity in front of him.
Luke 2:7 (ESV)
because there was no place for them in the inn.
- King Herod – Herod was a control freak who refused to share the glory with anybody else. Rather than risk losing control and making room for Jesus, he showed more concern for his own legacy.
Matthew 2:16 (ESV)
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under
- Town People – There were many who knew about Jesus, but they were still indifferent toward him. Indifference is a form of defiance.
Matthew 2:2–3 (ESV)
2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;
- Religious Leaders – When asked about the Messiah, the religious leaders knew the answer, but they didn’t respond. Knowledge of Jesus alone will never be enough.
Matthew 2:4–5 (ESV)
4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea”
Luke 2:19 (ESV)
19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
- How can we keep our childlike faith in the Christmas season?
- Why is it important for us to respond to Jesus? Why is knowledge of Jesus alone not enough?
- Do you find yourself responding to the Christmas season like any of the individuals described? Share with the group.
- Identify which of the 4 responses you’re most like in this season. How can you shift and respond more like Mary instead?