I’ll start off with a reading from the Gospel of Matthew:
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? …” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’” (Matthew 2:1-6)
Since we are in Christmas season, I thought to take a deeper look into the events of the nativity, and for the first time that I notice this paragraph. I usually read it and pass through it without noticing anything special, but for the first time I feel like something is not right here. My whole life I thought that the reason the Jews did not believe in Jesus as the Messiah was because they did not understand the prophecies, so they did not link what was happening around them with the scriptures, but apparently not.
Although Herod “gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together”, it did not seem like they were gathered for a bible study to come up with an answer; they knew the answer by heart, they even knew the scripture reference by heart.
It hit me for the first time that these people spent their lives studying the scriptures, making comparisons, analyzing the books of the old testament, drawing relations, sharing their findings …etc., but were totally blind and ignorant when the actual event occurred.
The question just hit me so hard, do I know God or do I know about God?
If I think I know God so well, then…
- why do I get upset and lose hope when bad things happen, although He said “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28)
- why do I get get angry and seek revenge when I am falsely accused, although He said “The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:14)
- why do I feel as a failure when my life does not go the way I planned it, although he said “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
- why do I ask people for help and support rather than God, although he said “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength” (Jeremiah 17:5)