What Jesus Faced

Written on 04/23/2024
Christian Dunn

Verse: Matthew 2:3-6

3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: 6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

These verses are important to understanding the political climate Jesus was born into. King Herod was constantly on high alert, looking out for threats to his crown. He was known to have assassinated his own family members because he was paranoid of disloyalty. When he hears of a Christ being born, his first instinct is to be fearful of what it could mean for his rule. He spreads his fear to all of his people in Jerusalem.

Out of this fear, Herod gathered chief priests and scribes to find out where Jesus was to be born. These leaders included the political appointee of high priests along with teachers of the Old Testament. They reference Micah 5:2, stating that the Christ was to be born in Bethlehem. They knew that He was to be born to rule and shepherd His people. They knew their messiah was to be born, but they told Herod what the prophecy said so that he might hunt him down and kill Him.

It’s easy to gloss over these verses when we touch up on the story of Jesus’ birth at Christmas time. I don’t know about you, but it hits me differently when I sit with it and really think about it. We’re told over and over that Jesus endured human hardship and understands our struggles. It’s easy think “yeah Jesus I know you say you get it but you never had to deal with ________”. This is such a hard reminder that from the moment Jesus joined us earthside, He was faced with hate and betrayal. As an infant, He was hunted for with the intentions of murder. And this was just the start of all He willingly chose to face for us. It’s a hard, but needed reminder that in reality, it feels like God might not understand our struggles, but truthfully I can never understand the extent of what He faced here on earth. My problems feel big (and they are, not minimizing what we face at all), but Jesus also faced huge hardships from the moment He took His first breath. He knows, understand, and empathizes with anything and everything we face because He also experienced the harsh, broken world we live in. We are not alone and none of our problems are too big. He knew the darkness He was stepping into and still knowingly chose to because He looked at us and saw us as worth all He would come to endure. Sit with that truth today.

Lord, thank you for this reminder. Thank you Jesus for choosing me, for choosing an excruciating existence in a broken world so that I might be reconciled to you. Thank you for stepping into darkness, for enduring all the hate, hardship and betrayal you faced. Thank you for understanding my problems and struggles because You also felt all of the human emotions we face in a broken world. Lord, use these verses to remind me that I am never alone and of your unending love for me. Use the hatred of Herod to fill me with hope, seeing all that You did for me clearly. Thank you Jesus. Amen

Guest Author: Becca Artymenko