A cheeky husband forgot his wife’s birthday. When he returned home that evening without gifts, flowers, or a card, his furious wife gave him a direct command: “Tomorrow morning”, she said, “I want something that goes from zero to sixty in under five seconds waiting for me in the driveway.” The husband nodded sheepishly and got in his car to go shopping for the requested present. The next morning, his wife went out to the driveway and saw the most beautiful, shiny, state-of-the art bathroom scale she’d ever seen. It matched her request, but fell far short of her expectations.
When Our LORD Jesus Christ was born, the Jews were waiting eagerly for a king. Jesus, the uneducated Galilean looked more like a “bathroom scale” king to God’s chosen people, who were hoping for a “Hummer”. Yes, they craved a Messiah, but a huge gap existed between their expectations and their reality. Whereas Jesus was a king with great power, His Kingdom was not of this Earth and His righteousness did not resonate well with sinners. Even though He was the Promised One, He did not match the desire of the Jews. Not coincidentally, He is also our judge, and holds the scale of justice in His hand, for He will judge the world.
The Jews should have been expecting Him, because Jesus’ birth was perfectly timed. He was born in the days of Augustus Caesar, at a time when the Roman Empire had reached a crescendo. Roman boundaries extended further than they ever had, before or since, from Parthia in one direction to Britain in another. It was called the empire of the whole Earth and there was hardly a portion of the civilized world that did not bow to Rome.
This was the time for the Messiah to be born, according to Daniel’s prophecy. “In the time of those kings, the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.” (Daniel 2:44). This prophecy sounded exactly like what the Jews living under Augustus wanted. But as with the housewife, the birthday gift did not match expectations. Phrases such as Zero to sixty or the Messiah can mean different things to different people.
Everything about Jesus’ birth seemed to be in order. He was born at the time when the fourth monarchy was at its peak, just when it had eclipsed the splendor, glory, and power of the three that had preceded it. Thus, Jesus Christ came right on cue, as the Messiah was expected. Jesus was born when Judea was a province of the Empire. It was occupied by the Romans, who like any occupier, were not well-liked. Jerusalem had been taken by Pompey, the Roman general, about sixty years before Jesus was born. Judea was ruled by Cyrenius Quirinius, the Roman governor of Syria (Luke 2:2). It was at this intersection of governments in history when Jesus was to be born. It was Jacob’s dying prophecy that Shiloh should come when the scepter had departed Judah and the lawgiver from between their feet (Genesis 49:10).
The problem was Jewish leaders were expecting the human equivalent of a Hummer. They wanted a powerful Earthly king, a political-military engine who would drive the Romans out of Jerusalem and Judea with a powerful sword. They had in mind a king who would posess the attributes of King David, but who would be even more powerful and successful. This king of their dreams would liberate God’s chosen people from all oppressors, after which He would rule in fairness while the kingdom enjoyed great peace and prosperity. When Jesus announced He was the King and the Son of God, the Jews felt the spirit world was tampering with the scales of justice.
The high priest of the Sanhedrin tore his clothes and called Jesus a blasphemer when He proclaimed Himself the Son of God (Mark 14:61-64). Pilate sensed Jesus was a King, but did not recognize Him for whom He was (John 18:37), fearing Him instead. Even today, many do not recognize Jesus as a King or are looking for a Savior who will not crimp their lifestyle or cost too much. These people fear His righteousness.
It is normal to accept and praise Jesus for who He is, not what we want Him to be. He is our eternal King and Priest, who wields the scales of justice for the Father. He humbled Himself to come to Earth to save us from our sins and to redeem us from spiritual death. Remember this Christmas season that He is the greatest gift you have ever received, and a gift you can give to others. Be normal and embrace the gift you’ve been given so you can share it with the world.
“I’m Normal.™ I AM.”
It’s God Talking to You
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
© Copyright 2017, I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries, All rights reserved.