The King Has Come! Matthew 2:1 – 6
Author and essayist Flannery O’Conner said: “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” Truth is truth whether we like it or not. The fact that I personally object to the truth doesn’t matter. Those things that are objectively true remain true even if I doubt them or deny them or even if I rail against them. This has never been a popular position to take. In our day truth is a “jump ball” determined by the latest poll, fad or feeling. Playing fast and loose with the truth has been Satan’s ploy since the Garden.
Above the main entrance to the University of Queensland in Australia are these words engraved in stone: “Great is truth and mighty above all things.” To a Christ-Follower that is a true statement. But down through the ages that definition has not always been readily accepted. The world finds it too confining, too narrow in its implication. Jesus had no conflict concerning truth. He made it clear in John 8:32, that the truth was both knowable and freeing when embraced. Truth sets us free, NOT opinions about truth.
Pontius Pilate articulated the challenge of all postmodern pluralists when he asked Jesus THE question in John 18:38. This is the question that has resonated across the centuries: “What is truth?” The answer to his cynical, rhetorical question was standing directly in front of him. Jesus was and is THE Truth.
In our Matthew 2 passage, the author clearly reminds his readers that all men respond to the truth in one of three way:
1. Some people actively seek the truth. It is their journey.The story of the Magi is an illustration of this in verses 1 & 2.
2. Some people fear/hate the truth. It changes their reality. The Matthew story continues in verse 3 with the reaction of Herod and “all of Jerusalem”, he was disturbed; all Jerusalem was disturbed. The word means to “shake violently”.
3. Some people choose to ignore the truth. They clearly know it. (This is affirmed by Romans 1) Herod inquires of the priests and scribes when this “New King” was to come. Their answer clearly tells us he knew they were correct.
Jesus is the Truth. He stands at the end of life’s road for all of us. In the end there can be no middle ground. To ignore him is the same as to fear/hate him because you end up without him either way. And perhaps hatred is nobler than casual disinterest because when you hate, you at least must pay attention to the object of your hatred, and that very attention may lead someday to a change of heart. To ignore Jesus altogether means to live as if he doesn’t matter at all, but no one can ignore him forever. We all have an appointment with Christ sooner or later.
As you share the Truth this season…remember that some will seek him, some fear/hate him, and others will attempt to ignore him. Listen carefully to their story as you share His!