“And it came to pass in those days” Luke 2:1, “that there went out a decree from Caesar Augstus that all the world should be taxed.” (KJV)
What were “those days?” If your feet walked the dust of then, where would they take you? Why after years of prophecy was the time ripe in Bethlehem of Judea in those days? What kind of world did Jesus enter?
Herod, declared by the Romans as King of the Jews, ruled Palestine, comprised of Judea and Galilee. Various Jewish religious factions chafed under Roman control. The streets were abundant with crowds of unhappy people ready to be marshaled together for change. Incited by the thumbprint of Rome on each of their lives, Herod stirred the pot with paranoia and mental instability. Angry mobs filled the streets. Ill will seethed. Wars and insurrection threatened.
Jesus entered the scene during a dark time of unrest.
Herod considered himself a rebuilder. He recaptured Jerusalem, fortified the fortress Masada, and most importantly for the Jewish community, he began rebuilding the Temple. He wanted its reconstruction to be better than Solomon’s original Temple. But Herod’s vices exceeded his government. The restructuring under his rule layered a heavy burden of taxes to a people already oppressed.
Jesus came into a dark world of sin and godlessness.
History’s most vile brushstroke of Herod was his thirst for blood. Jealous and distrustful, he killed anyone and everyone he feared might be after his throne. He slayed his wife and several of his children. He slaughtered babies following the scent of baby Jesus’ trail left by the wise men.
Jesus made his entrance into a culture that wore a weary robe of hopelessness and grief.
I don’t know how dark this Christmas time might be for you or how full of light, but I know “those days came to pass” not just for the world then, but also for us today. His light shines bright hope in a fearful and uncertain world, because ultimately, Christmas leads not to a manager, but to a cross. Jesus made his entrance into a culture that wore a weary robe of hopelessness and grief
Jesus made his entrance into a culture that wore a weary robe of hopelessness and grief
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12 ESV
Jesus, Light of the world entered a time in many ways like ours.
Tis the season, and with it our world fills with a plethora of activities, feels and traditions. In a world which seems dark at times, God’s Light shines into our present darkness with hope. Clothed with human skin, He came at that chosen time in a little town of Bethlehem when the world was dark.
“And it came to pass in those days…”
Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes it is hard to tell how dark our Christmas season will turn out to be.
Thanks Lois. I am so grateful God sees through darkness!
It is a great reminder that when the world feels dark now Jesus is still King. He came in the darkness but His light still shines.
I love the thought of Jesus as King regardless of how dark things look. Thanks for reading and reminding me He does shine!
Linda Lou Brucato
Great reminder. Too often we think our time is filled with darkness. Jesus came to bring light then, and even now!
Thank you Linda. Yes, I feel this so much. My heart gets so heavy for what I see but I need to remember God sees through the darkness.
I had not heard about the horrible acts that Kind Herod committed…. sometimes we think we live in a tumultuous time… then we see history! Thanks for this story Sylvia.
Thank you Cleo! History has a lot of really dark times, and yet God Sovereignly rules throughout. It is a comfort today!
Thank you, Sylvia! This makes me look forward to Christ’s return!!
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” Hallelujah!! Wishing you a blessed light filled Christmas!
Thank you! Wishing you the same. Was so nice to see you and talk for a bit. Blessings as you remember the babe destined for a cross!
Such a great reminder Sylvia. Thank you.
Praise God for the hope and promise of Jesus.
Thank you Dyann! Love hearing from you!
We tend to think that the dark times in which we live are the worst, yet history has shown us over and over the suffering of God’s people. But we know, that Jesus came at just the right time and will come again, at God’s timing. Thank you for this inspiring and hopeful message, Sylvia.
Thank you Katherine! It is always a sharp reminder to me that others have walked similar paths and God has been enough in every time.
Makes me wonder what kind of world Jesus will reenter when He comes again… May we be ready and waiting.
Yes! I often think of the world He will reenter. I look forward to His return! Thank you Annie for reading and responding!
Oh this was wonderful! These are such encouraging words for us! Thank you!
Thank you Brenda. I’m honored you found it encouraging!
Thank you, Sylvia, for helping us focus more on good than evil, on light more than dark. What a perfect intro to the Christmas season.
Jeannie, thank you for always bringing a refreshing light through your words! Appreciate your encouragement always.
Thankful that Jesus can always be found in our darkness. Beautiful post.
Thank you Candyce. I am grateful as well for His light in each darkness.
I read this blog post rather late, but wow … I love how you connected the story to ‘today’s’ darkness and the line, “Christmas leads not to a manger, but to a cross.”
I think it says to me, don’t fear suffering (much as I hate the thot). The suffering leads to hope & life because of Jesus.
Thanks Sharon! It’s never too late to consider the birth of Jesus! So glad you enjoyed it and absolutely love your take. I also fear suffering, but how I love your statement, “The suffering leads to hope & life because of Jesus.” Because of Jesus is a wonderful thought to carry into the New Year. Happy New Year to you and yours.