Two Kinds of Opposition to Jesus

Last Sunday, Joel Smith continued our Advent series with a sermon from Matthew 1:18-25 and encouraged us to be in awe that Messiah has come.

Read: Matthew 2:1-12

This Sunday, Pastor Josh Jones will preach from Matthew 2:1-12. We will consider the truth that Jesus is the true King whose Kingdom endures forever. In the text, we see three different responses to the announcement of Jesus’ birth from the wise men, scribes and pharisees, and Herod. In light of these responses, Josh will lead us to consider how we respond to Jesus, the true King. As you prepare your heart for our gathering, let this devotional from John Piper help you to begin this consideration.

Reflect: “Two Kinds of Opposition to Jesus”

“When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” —Matthew 2:3

Jesus is troubling to people who do not want to worship him, and he brings out opposition for those who do. This is probably not a main point in the mind of Matthew, but it is inescapable as the story goes on.

In this story, there are two kinds of people who do not want to worship Jesus, the Messiah.

The first kind is the people who simply do nothing about Jesus. He is a nonentity in their lives. This group is represented by the chief priests and scribes. Verse 4: “Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, [Herod] inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.” Well, they told him, and that was that: back to business as usual. The sheer silence and inactivity of the leaders is overwhelming in view of the magnitude of what was happening.

And notice, verse 3 says, “When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” In other words, the rumor was going around that someone thought the Messiah was born. The inactivity on the part of chief priests is staggering—why not go with the magi? They are not interested. They do not want to worship the true God.

The second kind of people who do not want to worship Jesus is the kind who is deeply threatened by him. That is Herod in this story. He is really afraid. So much so that he schemes and lies and then commits mass murder just to get rid of Jesus.

So today these two kinds of opposition will come against Christ and his worshipers: indifference and hostility. Are you in one of those groups?

Let this Christmas be the time when you reconsider the Messiah and ponder what it is to worship him.

“Two Kinds of Opposition to Jesus,” December 9th Reading, in Good News of Great Joy: Daily Readings for Advent, by John Piper.

Sing: Song List for Sunday

1. “Hark the Herald Angels Sing / King of Heaven,” by Paul Baloche
2. “Joy Has Dawned,” by Keith & Kristyn Getty
3. “Exult in the Savior’s Birth,” by Matt Boswell
4. “Behold the Lamb,” by Keith & Kristyn Getty