December 24 – Word Became Flesh – Resisted from the Beginning

Read Matthew 2:1-23

Imagine a nativity scene with all of the typical figurines. Inside of the stable are Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in a manger. The visitors include some shepherds and magi. How would you feel, though, if another animal was added to the normal mix of cows and sheep? And what if that animal was a dragon?

While that may seem like an odd addition, there is biblical precedent for it. In referencing the birth of Jesus through Jewish descent, the book of Revelation tells us, “The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born” (Rev 12:4). That dragon is identified as Satan (Rev. 12:9).

There is a backstory, then, to the narrative of the king you read about today. Behind the jealousy of a man stood the hatred of the devil. If you look past the fear of first-century royalty, you witness the opposition of an age-old serpent. His intentions from the outset were to prematurely foil the plans of the Father.

While other young baby boys were tragically killed in those days, Jesus was protected…for the time. This was not the only time that Jesus was pursued prematurely. At one point, human opponents (arguably inspired and empowered by Satan) forced Him to a cliff. Their  intentions were to push Him to His death. Thankfully, He walked away unscathed (Luke 4:28-30).

But, eventually, His hour came (John 13:1). Though He died a cruel death on the cross, it was ultimately Satan who sustained the fatal blow (Gen 3:16). On the cross, Jesus took upon Himself the sins of mankind to impart to mankind the righteousness of God. Through His death and resurrection, He destroyed the devil, who has the power of death (Heb. 2:14-16).

Friends, Jesus experienced opposition from early in life. That antagonism continued throughout His life. We should not be surprised, when we, as His followers, experience it today. In fact, Paul encourages us to recognize that all who live godly in Him will face it (2 Tim 3:12). Don’t be discouraged. In opposition, you are in great company…and you are assured victory.

Steve Kern

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