Six Ways to Miss Christmas – Prideful Indifference

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

Prideful Indifference

Once Herod learned from the wise men that a child would be born who would be King of the Jews, he gathered “together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, [and] began to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born. And they said to him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet, “And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a Ruler, who will shepherd My people Israel”‘” (Matthew 2:4-6). Herod called in the experts.

The chief priests consisted of the high priest, the captain of the Temple police, and the best of the other priests—those who had great administrative, teaching, and leadership skills. For the most part the chief priests were Sadducees. The scribes were primarily Pharisees. They were the linguists and interpreters who understood the culture and history of the biblical data. Read more…

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…