“And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him.” (Mark 9:15 ESV)
So why is this is the perfect Christmas verse when it doesn’t seem to have much to do with the birth of Christ?
This week at Imprint Church, we studied the Christmas story from the perspective or Micah 5 and Matthew 1 & 2. What we see in these stories are the very different reactions between the three wise men and King Herod when they learned about the coming of Jesus. The wise men traveled for two years to find the Christ Child, whereas Herod was less than six miles away and never made the effort.
How many of us are missing Jesus by about 6 miles? How many of us are doing our own thing and will not go out of our way to see if Jesus really is who the Bible says he is?
Watch our sermon recording below or download the audio podcast to learn why the perfect Christmas verse involves you running to greet Jesus in your life.
Generosity Group Questions
- Read Micah 5 and also Matthew 1-2 in one sitting. What connections, similarities or contrasts do you see in these two sections from different books written at different times? How does one passage help make sense of the other? From all three chapters (Micah 5 and Matthew 1-2), what do you learn about God?
- The context of Micah (like most Minor Prophet books) is one where the people of God face real or impending threats. The people in that day had the hope of a future ruler who would correct wrongs. We do not have to wait for the ruler that was promised to come to Bethlehem. Since this is so, how can He give you hope in the midst of your trials?
- Matthew highlights Jesus’ birth in 1:18-25. What do these verses tell you about His origin and destiny?
- God is the unseen actor throughout Matthew chapter 2. In what ways can we see His “behind-the-scenes” actions (verses 6, 15, 18 and 23)?
- The responses of the wise men and Herod are not very different from ways people respond to Jesus today. What factors might cause people to respond to Jesus in such radically different ways? Why did the wise men bring Jesus gifts?
- The wise men not only found Jesus, but they worshiped Him and witnessed to the entire city of Jerusalem concerning His birth (Matthew 2:2-3). In what ways has your search for the Lord resulted in worshiping Him and telling others about Him?
- Think of something you once strongly desired. When you got it, did it fulfill your expectations? Why or why not? How can Jesus fill all your expectations each and every day?
- What concerns are weighing on your mind? Ask the Lord to take your fears and frustrations.
- Ask God’s Spirit to search you and to help you know what opposes His purpose. Confess, and ask God to empower you to change and move on.
- Spend time worshiping the King of kings – Jesus. Then ask God to help you tell others about Him.