Before Christmas, Christians are busy with activities related to the celebration of the birthday of Jesus; no exception, Sunday-School children participate in praising and glorifyng God with their cheerful faces.

Jesus said that we should imitate the sincerity of the children, because such people will own the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:14). Therefore, parents should try to introduce their children to the Lord early by taking them to Sunday school even though it is sometimes  troublesome; because what is sown will be reaped in his old age (Proverbs 22: 6).

Mary had given a good example by bringing the young Jesus to Jerusalem to worship God as usually done according to custom every year (Luke 2:41-42). But then, they did not notice, that Jesus was not on the way home with them. For this, Mary and Joseph returned to Jerusalem to look for Jesus and found Him in the Temple of God, discussing with the experts (v. 43-46).

All who heard Jesus’ answers were astonished of His intelligence (v. 47). Day by day, Jesus grew (physically), getting wiser and the gift of God was upon Him (v. 40); therefore, He is loved more by man and God (v. 52).

Implication: children who are brought to the service faithfully will grow smart because the wisdom of God is upon them (Proverb 1:7) that makes them loved by man and God.

What is our purpose to come to Jesus, King of kings?
In Jesus’ time the wise men from the east came to Jerusalem to look for the new born King, for they saw His star in the east. They traveled a long way and surely took a very long time, only to worship Jesus (Matthew 2:1-2).

But the coming of Jesus to the world as a King, was not responded positively by the all people at that time, because:

King Herod summoned the chief priest and the experts to ask where the new King was born. As experts, they must have read the book Micah 5:1 which profesied that someone from Betlehem Efrata would reign over Israel.

Secretly, Herod summoned the wise and ordered them to investigate the child (Jesus) and then told him for he wanted to worship the Child, too (Matthew 2:7-8), but actually King Herod intended to kill Him for he was afraid of losing his throne.

It was proven, when king Herod knew that he was betrayed by the wise men, He ordered to kill all children in Betlehem and the surroundings who were under 2 years old (Matthew 2 :16)

However the plan of God would never fail. The wise men succeded as they found Jesus, worshipped Him and even gave their offerings such as gold, frankincense, and myrrh (v. 11), but they did not return to Herod because God had warned them in a dream (v. 12)

Application: those who worship Jesus, King of Kings, will surely get His guidance. Do we want to become His followers and worship Him, the Leader and the Shepherd (compare to Matthew 2:5-6)?

A leader and a shepherd must go through death in order to save Israel (including us), so that we could repent and receive the forgiveness of sin (Acts 5:31).

The scribes and the chief priest are excellent in the Law of Moses but it was just knowledge without an effort to do it in daily life. The proof is one scribe asked Jesus about the Law not for getting explanation but only testing Him (Matthew 22:34-40).

Jesus knew his heart and answered that the whole Law showed the love for the Lord with the whole heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30) also the love for mankind as oneself.

Truly that the one who loves the Lord will surely be eager to worship Him and will not want Him to be jealous by worshipping other gods for His is a jealous God who will pay the iniquity of the fathers upon their children unto the third and fourth generation but will show mercy to the thousands people who love Him and keep His commands (Exodus 20:5-6; Deutoronomy 7:8-9). He also cures the sickness and miscarriage or even barren from among them (Exodus 23:20-26).

Application: let us eager to have a fellowship and worship Him whatever our condition is, for He Himself came down from the highest place to the earth in order to save us, the sinners (Acts 5:31).

Modesty is needed to be able to confess all of our wrongdoings and trespasses as done by the Canaanite woman, a sinner gentile, who had a demon-possesed daughter (Matthew 15:21-28).

At first, Jesus ‘refused’ to help the woman by saying He came to the world for His people, the Israelites, and even His own disciples asked Him to drive away the woman who had made noisy shout.

But the persistence of this Caananite woman was amazing, though she was insulted like a dog she did not care. And eventually she got the help, her daughter was cured. This woman really appreciated the crumbs of the bread falling from his master’s table.

Application: Jesus is the bread of life (John 6:48) who came to the world as logos (John 1:14) and that chance was used by the wise men who came to worship and gave precious offerings. Likewise the Caananite sinful woman.

By being persistent yet humble, she came and worshiped Jesus begging for help. What about us? Have we made use the word of God which gives us eternal life?

Actually no matter how expensive an offering is, it is not comparable to the salvation provided by the Lord. Also, however wicked and unclean our condition is, it will be eliminated if we are willing to accept the coming of Jesus into the world to save us.

He willingly died on the cross and rose to justify us (Romans 4:25). Let us use this opportunity by doing the Word of God as a proof of our love for Him.

Let us like to forgive without holding grudge against those who have hurt us, as Joseph did to his brothers who had sold him for hatred. He even ensured the welfare of their lives (Genesis 50: 16-21).

Take note that God does not only save us, but also guarantees our daily lives as He promises that He never leaves the righteous, and his descendants will not be allowed to ask for bread, nor be poor (Psalm 37:25). We should give thanks for His love and love to worship Him, the King of kings, then we will get the heavenly bliss. Amen.

Sunday, Lemah Putro, 11 December 2016
Assistant Pastor, Yusuf Wibisono

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