Do You See What I See?
Our identification of Jesus DOES make a difference.
Intro: Do you see what I see? Show clip from the movie "The Music Man". In The Music Man, con-man professor Harold Hill has sold instruments to the townspeople and promised to teach their children to play. He uses the "think method" and it's a sham. However, in the finale, when the children give a concert for their parents, we see it from the parent's perspective and, even though it actually sounds horrible, to them it sounds BEAUTIFUL.
What we see when we look at Jesus DOES make a difference, depending upon our PERSPECTIVE.
A.W. Tozer "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us."
Here are three perspectives of Jesus from the Christmas story.
I. ONE LOOKED AT JESUS AND SAW A THREAT -- Herod -- Mt.2:1-8,16
We know from history that Herod was a bad man, a very bad man. In his paranoia he killed 3 of his sons and one of his wives. Augustus is supposed to have said "I'd rather be Herod's pig than his son." Herod's own title, given to him by Caesar Augustus was "King of the Jews" so he was definitely alarmed by what he heard from the Magi. What Herod saw in baby Jesus was a threat to his own power, position and way of life.
There are those today who, like Herod, see a threat in Jesus.
Karl Marx: "Religion is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion...is a demand for their real happiness."
Friedrich Nietzsche: "The belief that God is dead - that the Christian God has become unworthy of belief -- already begins to cast its first shadows over Europe...in fact; our hearts overflow with gratitude, astonishment and expectation."
Entertainment critic Michael Medved writes: "It is hard to escape the conclusion that, for many of the most powerful people in the entertainment business, hostility to traditional religion goes so deep and burns so intensely that they insist on expressing that ...
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