Yesterday we saw how King Herod was clinging to power using violence and fear to rule.  Such times were described in book of Isaiah, prophetically, as a time of great darkness.

But contrast him to Jesus.  Jesus also claims to be King of the Jews.  But for him, that is a position he has not taken by force or manipulation, but by right.  It is a position he hangs on to not by violence and fear, but by peace and love.

This is why he’s described by the Prophet Isaiah, 500 years before Jesus, as the light rising in the darkness.

What a contrast!

Herod has gone down in history, Christian and otherwise, as a brutal tyrant, a false king who never belonged in power.

And by contrast, Jesus is still known as a king.  The sign above his cross – king of the Jews.  Sing this Christmas: glory to the newborn king.

Then he got in the way of a different kind of power – the religious power of the scribes and Pharisees, and eventually Rome, who had him executed.  And yet, Jesus is still known today as alive and active in people’s lives.

Jesus scares the powerful, because he is truly power.  He is the source of all power and authority in the world.  All power is given by God.  All the ways people exert power rely on God having created and sustained world in the first place.  When people who are abusing those means encounter true power, they are afraid.  Like an employee who has been claiming to speak for the boss will suddenly shrink when the boss actually enters the room.

Jesus had that kind of true power, he scared those with false power.

The question is how will we respond to Jesus?  Will we cling to power like Herod, or do everything we can to find and worship him, like the Magi?

Question:  What do you think true power and authority looks like?  How would you recognize it?

Reminder: We have a great Christmas event coming December 14th, 2013: The Original Christmas Party.  Hope you’re coming!

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