Thomas R. Rowe, Jr.
His birth was foretold by the prophets, proclaimed by the angels, feared by the Politicians, and rejected by the religious leaders of His day. He was born of a virgin in a cattle stall, laid in a feeding trough, and acknowledged as king by the wise men. It is significant to note that they did not see Him as one destined to be king, but as one possessing status as king from His birth. When reports of the birth of the “king of the Jews” (Matthew 2:2) reached Herod, He plotted to kill the potential rival, as well as many other innocent children in the effort. Scripture tells us he ordered all the male children in Bethlehem and in that entire region who were two years old or under to be killed (Matthew 2:16). However, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him” (Matthew 2: 13).
What was it about this innocent Child that made Him such a threat to Herod? What prompted the Magi to recognize Him as King of the Jews and to worship Him—a tiny baby? What Child is this that evokes praise from the angels in Heaven when they announced His birth to the shepherds? What Child is this?
It may seem surprising that Herod could have felt so threatened by an infant; but he knew his position as king was tenuous. He gained and maintained his power through brute force and political manipulation and thus had little support from the common people around Jerusalem. The people were so discontented with him, that any opposition (even from an infant king) could spark a revolution.
In spite of Herod’s fear and his threats to kill the Child, God supernaturally intervened to preserve Christ’s life. The scripture tells us, “Jesus increased in wisdom and in statue, and in favor with God and man,” and, as He came to full statue, He went about doing good. He was the hope of the downtrodden, the lover of sinners, the healer of all manner of diseases—He gave sight to the blind, opened deaf ears, cast out demons, made the lame to walk, and raised the dead. He was, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. He was the Way, The Truth, and The Life. He was crucified to appease the wrath of God; was buried, and after three days rose victoriously from the grave conquering death and Hell. He appeared to His followers, ascended to the right hand of the throne of God, sent His Holy Spirit to be our comforter, our teacher, and our guide, and is alive for evermore and lives to make intercession for you and for me.
What Child is this whose birth we celebrate at this joyful season? He IS the great “I AM,” The Alpha and Omega, the Incarnate Son of God—our provider, protector, creator, defender and friend! Hallelujah! What a Savior!