A Dangerous Call
". . . when Herod . . .he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him." Matthew 2:3
Two years had passed since Jesus’ birth, and the ruling king, Herod, a descendent of Esau, made Him an enemy of the Jews. When Herod heard that one had been born who was King of the Jews, he was troubled, as was all of Jerusalem, Jesus’ birth had upset the status quo.
A little baby was a threat to Herod’s already uneasy rule. Knowing he was unqualified to rule because of his lineage, he was a shrewd diplomat, and under false pretense, organized a search and destroy mission for Jesus. Herod was outwitted by the Magi and was furious. He sent out an edict that all males under two years of age should be killed. Herod's effort to kill his young rival gained Herod nothing but dishonor.
From infancy, the threat of death hung over our Lord. It’s apparent that He was born to die, but only at His appointed time. Joseph was warned in a dream by the angel to go to Egypt. The family became fugitives from the wrath of Herod until the angel assured Joseph it was time to return.
What's striking about this story is the amount of unrest and risk Mary, Joseph and Jesus are facing. None of this story is accidental, God sent them into these circumstances, being born in a manger, being raised in a borrowed house, living on the run. All of it could have been avoided.
There's an idea in church culture that when God calls someone to a task, it will be easy and smooth, everything will just fall into place. When in reality, doing God’s will brings us into danger. Those who wish to find their life, must lose it. Every day in our world people lose their life for the gospel. We, as disciples, must realize, safety is not God’s first concern for you and I, the gospel is. The Christian life is not a playground, it's a battle ground. We must be fit for the fight.
Are you willing to die to yourself and take up the cross and follow Him?
Does comfort and safety have a stronger hold on you than the gospel?