What is your response to Christ

Published 4:36 pm Friday, December 14, 2018

People respond to Christmas in a lot of different ways; some get excited and express their excitement with massive decorations, while others seem unaffected by all the celebration.  But of greater importance is our response to the One that the season honors–Jesus Christ.  What is your response to Him?  Faith or doubt?  Acceptance or rejection?  Submission or rebellion?

The Biblical narratives of the New Testament record a variety of responses to the newborn Christ-child.  Mary responded with love as she tenderly wrapped Him in warm clothing; the heavenly host responded with praises; those who heard the shepherds’ story responded with amazement; Simeon responded by prophesying; Anna responded with thanks unto God. (Luke 2)   But not all responses to the birth of Christ were positive.

King Herod, in jealousy, responded to the news of the birth of Christ with hostility.  When he realized that the Magi whom he had sent in search of the Christ-child had not returned on time and that they had outwitted him, he ordered the execution of all males two years old and younger in the vicinity of Bethlehem in an attempt to kill the young Christ (Matthew 2:16).

Many of the religious leaders of that day responded to the birth of Christ with indifference.  When Herod questioned them about the expected location of the birth of Christ they answered by quoting from Micah 5:2, yet they offered no acknowledgement or honor regarding what had happened in Bethlehem.  It seemed to have no impact on them personally; it appears that they had plenty of religion as far as knowledge was concerned, but no true relationship with God that affected their hearts.

The early days after Christ’s arrival in Bethlehem confirm what John 1:10-11 says about Him:  “He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him.  He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him” (New International Version). 

But there was a group of foreigners that we often refer to as the wise men or Magi, who responded in the way that the Christ-child deserved to be greeted–with adoring worship.  Scripture tells us that “On coming to the house, they saw the child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped Him.  Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh”  (Matthew 2:11).  What an example for us to follow!  Jesus Christ is worthy of all our praise and adoration.

We all have to make a decision as to how we will respond to Christ.  He did not remain a little baby in a manger in Bethlehem, but He grew up and fulfilled what He came to earth to do: He died on the cross in payment for the sins of humanity and rose again from the dead.  We have the choice to either follow the example of Herod and the religious leaders by ignoring and rejecting Him, or we can do as the wise men did and give Him the worship He deserves.   The Bible promises that “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). 

May we all make the wise decision to surrender our lives to Him, and demonstrate it through our obedience and devotion to Him.