A post from several years ago about focusing on what really matters.
1Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5They 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.’ ” Matthew 2:1-6
As I keep reading through these 6 verses, my mind continually goes to the phrase “the people’s chief priest and teachers of the law.” Since my mind was being drawn over and over to these words, I decided I should do some research and check out what this really means. The people’s chief priests, was a reference to the Sadducees. This group was known for being very worldly and politically minded, and for having an extremely unorthodox theology. They did not believe in things such as the resurrection, angels, or spirits. The teachers of the law, were the Jewish scholars of the day, they were professionally trained in all aspects of the law (at the time would have been the Old Testament Law). Their authority was based solely on human and traditional factors. So, it appears that Herod went to some pretty worldly sources to learn about God. I think there is something very important in this for us to learn.
History tells us that Herod the Great was driven to find the Christ by motives that were entirely self-seeking and impure. He was not interested in seeking God for right reasons. So it makes perfect sense that he went to people that formed their views on worldly and political basis. He was not interested in who the Messiah really was, just wanted to know where He was, so he could contain the perceived threat.
A few days ago, I was on the phone with my best friend, and we were discussing a certain situation in my life. He told me he was upset with me for responding a certain way. It was not that comforting for him to tell me I was wrong. He was right in his assessment of my actions, and I later thanked him for pointing out my mistake. It would have been very easy to just listen to those that would tell me I was acting correctly. That would not help me grow as a person though. The same principle holds true in our growth in Christ.
Why do you and I seek God? Are we seeking Him for who He really is, or is it because of secular and self-serving reasons? Do the answers to these two questions influence who we listen to, and whose opinions we value? It is very easy to listen to those that agree with us, or tell us what we want to hear. It is also easy to look for various scripture which when taken out of context will back our stance. Is this responsible though? Moreover does it lend to us leaving His footprints?
Today I encourage you to listen to those who have God’s interest in mind, and to seek Him for Him. That way you can be sure the footprints you leave are not your own.