The Wise Men were religious people who tend to sheep for a living. They studied Scripture and were more than familiar with Isaiah’s prophecy about the Messiah. So, when a bright rear star appears in the Eastern skies, joy filled their hearts. Because they knew that was a sign that our Saviour had been born.
The men gathered gifts and embarked on a journey that would end in a stable in Bethlehem in Judea. There they saw the child lying in a manger with his mother, Mary and father Joseph. They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their gifts. They gave him gold, frankincense and myrrh. Merry Christmas!
Christian history reveals quite a bit of controversy over the actual date of Jesus’ birth, raising the question, why do we celebrate Christmas at all?
Distraction from God is dangerous. As believers, we appoint Him captain of our ship. He does not steer, but He tells us where to go. Often we pushed Him aside and pretended to be in charge. And that is when things start to go wrong. Even if you know a shorter and better route, you should allow the captain to do His job. He knows best. The Bible says: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct thy paths,” (Proverb 3:5-6).
In the game of baseball, Good Hand-Eye Coordination is one of the keys to success for any hitter. When he is at the plate, his focus must be on point. There is little room for distraction. One mistake and his career could be over.
Just as a baseball hitter avoids distraction at the plate. Christians must do likewise avoiding anything that is likely to distract them from God. Yes, we have weaknesses, and some people will argue that it ‘s hard to avoid distractions. But, even though we cannot always avoid them we are not obligated to succumb. Jesus showed us what to do when faced with tempting circumstances.
Matthew 4:1-11 states the following. Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness where the devil tempted.
And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards hungry.
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones turn to bread.
But Jesus answered and said, It is in the law, Man must not live by bread alone. But by every word that preceded out of the mouth of God.
Not satisfied, the devil took him up into the holy city, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple,
And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down. For it was written, He will give his angels charge over thee. And in their hands, they will bear thee up, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
But Jesus said to him, It is in the law, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Determined to distract Jesus, the devil took him up into an exceeding high mountain. And shew him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. And the devil said to him, I will let you have all these things if you bows down and worship me.
Then Jesus said unto him, Get thee hence, Satan. For it is in the law, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Then the devil left him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
The parable of the sheep and the goats that Jesus told in Matthew 25:31-46 seems to convey a simple message. And why not. Jesus was and is known to make things simple. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that Jesus used this parable to clear up any ambiguity in an earlier point that He made: “Love your neighbor as yourself”.
As you read through the parable (the sheep and the goats), you will notice that as Christians and as a society in general, we are charge with the responsibility to care for the less fortunate. Further, according to the parable, every crying voice for help that we ignore will be held against us when we stand before the righteous Judge.
New International Version (NIV)
The Sheep and the Goats
“When the Son of Man…
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