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Born to be a king; born to save – Jesus’ arrival was hopeful news bringing joy to many. But soon dark clouds came. Life may be happy for a while but troubles always arise. They did for Mary, Joseph and Jesus. In their case it was a jealous man who learned of Jesus and didn’t like what he heard.
Resentment and fear of others causes many problems, often triggering hatred which, in turn, leads to fights. The fights can be with words or with actions, and they happen at the personal level and between groups, all the way up to whole countries. When they scale up, murder and death can be the result. There are people we so hate, that we simply want to get rid of them forever. Pause and think about your own life. Whom do you hate? Who has hated you? How deep have the feelings run? You know what I’m writing about.
Jesus faced such hostility right from being a baby. Who hated him? As the passage above tells us, it was the local king: Herod. He was a politician who would take any steps needed to protect his status and power. Even though he was an old, dying man when Jesus was born, Herod implemented a search-and-kill mission to find him. The men never found Jesus and he survived. But others were killed instead.
We live in a brutal world. Death stalks here: lives constantly lost through war, disease, disaster and old age. Why must it be so? It’s us. We, the human race, have gone so badly wrong that it’s wrecked the world. But Jesus was born to save. He saves from sin. But that then leads onto something else: eternal life. Jesus saves from death all who trust him.