Six Ways to Miss Christmas – Jealous Fear

from John MacArthur’s booklet, Six Ways to Miss Christmas.

Jealous Fear

In Matthew 2 we meet another man who missed Christmas: “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem , saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.’ And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him…. Then Herod secretly called the magi, and ascertained from them the time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem , and said, ‘Go and make careful search for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, that I too may come and worship Him'” (vv. 1-3, 7-8). Herod was the king of the land. He feigned his desire to worship Jesus Christ, but he was fearful because One had been born who was called the King of the Jews. The Greek word translated “troubled” in verse three means “to be agitated” or “stirred up.” It carries the idea of total panic. Herod panicked. Why? He was afraid of Jesus—afraid of another king. Let’s see why. Read more…

Six Ways to Miss Christmas – Ignorant Preoccupation

from John MacArthur’s booklet, Six Ways to Miss Christmas.

Ignorant Preoccupation

Luke 2:7 says, “[Mary] gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” The first person who missed Christmas was the innkeeper. He was unable to take in Mary and Joseph because he had no room for them. Apparently he was indifferent to their plight—there is no indication from Scripture that he called for any help.

Notice that verse 7 says, “She gave birth to her first-born son.” Mary herself gave birth to Jesus. By herself she wrapped Him in cloths. Joseph was there to help, but if he was anything like most young fathers, he would have been of little help. Middle-eastern people are hospitable, kind, and caring. They are not barbaric. They are not the kind of people who would leave a woman alone to have her baby. But in this case, they did. Where were the midwives? You’d think the innkeeper would have known someone who could have helped. Read more…