We have this wonderful scene that we celebrate every year.
The angels, shepherds, and magi.
Mary and Joseph.
And, of course, the baby Jesus.
Who doesn’t enjoy that? Don’t like a story about a baby? C’mon man!
But I think that, sometimes, we sanitize and sentimentalize until we lose the power of this story. This isn’t just any baby. He is the word made flesh. He is God with us. He is the most dangerous baby.
So dangerous, in fact, that Herod would do everything he could in order to kill him.
Herod, a Governor-ruler over Judea, considered himself King of the Jews. When he heard from the Magi that a “King of the Jews” had been born in Bethlehem, he had to do something. He couldn’t allow anyone to take his place. [Check out Matthew 2:16-18.] So he slaughters the baby boys of Bethlehem hoping to find the baby Jesus (who happens to be safe in Egypt).
This isn’t just a simple baby in a manger. This is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. No other king will stand above him! No other kingdom will be greater than his! Rome wasn’t. America isn’t. His kingdom is from everlasting to everlasting.
This baby is even dangerous to you and me.
Because sometimes he calls us to give up our comforts in order to follow him.
He calls us to give up our sins in order to follow him.
Sometimes he calls us to give up our plans, to lose our prejudices, to love and serve others even when we feel we should be among those being served.
He calls us to hold our lives loosely, and to follow him only – even when it leads us to a cross.
Luke 9:23, Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
This, my friends, isn’t a safe King to follow. He asks of us our very lives – to die and yet still live. He is the most dangerous baby.
Yet, to find him, to trust him, to follow him, is to find real, abundant, and everlasting life.
It is to die to my selfishness and my sin, in order to truly live.
It is to live in the kingdom of America, yet to live out the kingdom of heaven.
It is to live in hope in any and every circumstance, looking forward to an eternity where the lion lies with the lamb, where swords are beaten into plowshares, where the leaves are for the healing of the nations, and where the light shines for all eternity, because the darkness could not and cannot extinguish it.
Hallelujah! He is the most dangerous baby. He is God with us. He is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. He is Jesus.