On our national and international news, it is almost a weekly event to hear how terrorists continue to use the sword to promote their cause.
Deep in our souls, we know that if spiritual beliefs have to be defended with guns and violence, they’re dead. We know this because our Creator chose to give each of us a will and the right to decide for ourselves whether or not we will choose to trust him and obey or turn away. This is the source of the freedom of religion and speech that we so cherish in the West. This is also why God did not send his Son into the world riding a fiery chariot leading an angelic army to destroy Augustus and his Iron Legions. Instead, Jesus was born to a poor family, in a small town, that had to flee from the powers that be, and then even eventually to live in a despised Galilean village because Archaleus, Augustus’ son, was even more bloodthirsty than his father who died in 4 BC.
Matthew, the tax collector, closes his account of Jesus’ origins stressing His small town roots and foreshadowing how this upbringing will be scorned by the political and religious powers in Jerusalem.
“So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that He would be called a Nazarene. “ (Matthew 2:23)
Lord, give law enforcement officers around the world wisdom to capture those who commit these heinous massacres and more importantly give them the leads to stop these attack before they occur. Help us to understand that our Savior clearly commands us not to use the sword to promote our beliefs about Him.
Give us courage to believe that he was right when he told penetrating stories—stories that exposed the hypocrisy, the lies, and the injustice of those in power—instead of forcing allegiance. Thank you for not forcing yourself upon us, but for wooing us with your grace and love. Help us this week to invite others to join us in honestly admitting our sin and opening our hearts to the power of your Calvary love.
Note: This concludes our devos seeking to help you track how Matthew, the tax collector, told the story of Jesus’ birth and early childhood. Tomorrow, we will return to the Book of Acts.
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