Post Mortem

The Coming of Jesus – Who Responded?

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 12/20/2020 12:08:20 PM IST

 At the time of coming of Jesus, the world was filled with fear. Romans feared the rebellions of her subjects and the subjects feared Rome’s brutalities. The hearts of people everywhere were filled with suspicions, fear and distrust. The grace in God compelled Jesus to come down to the evil world to save every perishing soul. Hence, by that awesome night when the star shone bright God sent His angel to make a very important pronouncement, “Be not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is, Christ the Lord”. (Luke 2: 10-11).

This was no doubt great news to the world. This implies that the gospel has both a divine origin for it comes from Heavenly Father and a human relevance as it speaks to our conditions. Now let us remember that there were three typical responses to this proclamation of the good news. They were – (1) Wise men from the east guided by a star, (2) King Herod and (3) The shepherds. Each of them represents a class of people, no different basically from those we have today in our society.

The wise men represent the intellectuals, educated and the privileged class of the society. King Herod represents the ruling authority, power broker and the corrupt exploiter. The shepherds represent the ordinary people who somehow manage to survive the daily drudgery of life. They are the poor under employed and the vast marginalized section of the society. 

Initially, the wise men from the east suffered from human weakness. They did not first seek the kingdom of God but the kingdom of Herod. But the forgiving God intervened in their dream and thus they escaped from the cruel king and thereby saved the baby Jesus. Their obedience to the Spirit was indeed an expression of their wisdom and spiritual maturity. The wise men worshipped the baby Jesus and departed. Bible is silent on their subsequent activities. The silence and passivity of the good people in society tend to breathe a culture of irresponsible forces and its disastrous effect everywhere. However, this was taken up by Jesus Himself who was not only assertive but confronted those who matters in defending the truth and not to compromise on hypocrisy.

The great news that a Saviour was born was a threat to King Herod because he was afraid of sharing the power with others. King Herod conveniently assumed a garb of religious posture to achieve his ulterior motive of killing the child Jesus. It is indeed a tragedy. Shading innocent blood does not solve problems nor is it the answer to achieving social or political goals or personal ambitions. King Herod deliberately resorted to strategies to liquidate the alternative power structure very similar to the present day scenario of the abuse of power.

The shepherds belong to the toiling class. They are normally engrossed with their own private sorrows and sufferings. They have accepted deprivation and injustice as their destiny and are resigned to it. They are not aware of the incredible power of their collective strength which can radically change their destiny. They are aloof. That is why; Jesus asserted that the spiritual and moral values coupled with social responsibilities are the pre-requisite for resolving many growing problems. This warrants government action in promoting equitable sharing of developmental schemes, upliftment of the weaker section, equal opportunities in employment and the right to earn for a living. It is time to create an even more fair and just society.

Before Jesus was commissioned to begin His ministry, The Word of God came upon John the Baptist instructing John to do what God desired. He made a very significant proclamation-“I Baptise you with water; but He who is mightier than I is coming; the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie; he will Baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” These are the words from heaven. What John the Baptist was saying was – “I am nobody; I am only a voice telling you to get ready for the coming of the King; for He is on the way.” He was telling us to prepare the way of the Lord, “make His path straight” – meaning the road to your heart and soul be smooth, straight and make it free from sin and un-clean practices for Jesus to enter your life. (Luke 3: 2- 4)

John the Baptist instructed the religious leaders of the day to know the signs of the times and also warned against their external privileges. He instructed the people to be kind and charitable. Those persons in authority were told not to exact more than which was appointed. He must do justice between the government and the public and not to oppress the people by levying heavy or burdensome taxes. 

The public revenue must be appropriate to public services. He instructed the law enforcing authority and the military to avoid injurious practices to the people – “do violence to no man.” Their duty is to maintain peace and order. They were instructed to be happy with their salaries – “Be content with your wages.” Luke 3: 1 – 14. We are so used to scoundrels of varied hues that even after thousand years the same is still going strong in this world. Therefore, what John the Baptist was preaching long ago is equally relevant even today.

Jesus was born to oppose and to destroy all the immoral activities in human life. The eternal purpose of Jesus was to free mankind from the clutches of Satan. He was willing to pay any price for this to be fulfilled. No one ever dreamed that this little babe in Bethlehem will soon lead to the greatest movement in world history – the spreading of the Christian faith to every nook and corner of the world. What we need today is the salvation from sin. Until these sins are rooted out, the society in a moral and spiritual sense will go backward rather than forward. People today see no beauty in Christ because they are blind to their sins. Therefore, more importantly, how we view Bethlehem’s most celebrated Child will determine whether we experience God’s salvation or not. Our salvation depends on what we make of Mary’s Child.

Jesus who was born into our world and who lived and died and rose from the dead is now alive forever and is available and accessible to the people through the Holy Spirit. Let Jesus implant in us new hopes. When Jesus comes into a person’s life He revolutionizes the life so that the person becomes “a new creation.” This and this alone is our hope.

Mapu Jamir (I.A.S. Retd.)

 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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