Matt. 2:2-3 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” ¶ When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
I recently heard a story about a man who was arrested for disturbing the peace for throwing out money to a crowd of people. You can imagine the chaos that ensues when money is being thrown around. The reason of course is obvious, everyone understands the value of cash. If the general public had any clue about the value of the gospel it would be impossible to house the crowds in all of the churches combined. When Jesus was born, very few people had any idea who He was. The crowds didn’t gather around Him until miracles began to take place. Miracles are valued because they change our circumstances; financial provision, physical or emotional healing, deliverance from substance addictions, these are the things that tend to gather crowds. Just think about it, God Himself became a man, was born in a stable, and the greatest response was turmoil in Jerusalem. Luther recognized how the general public snuffed at the appearance of The Lord. Here is something he had to say.
“But shame on the world because it is filled with scoundrels who simply will not accept this treasure and yet need him so desperately. The whole world should crawl toward him on all fours if it had no other way to go. Our Lord God is still delighted when there are some who desire this treasure. It forever remains an awful shame that we have to cast such preaching before swine and dogs who despise, scorn, and disdain it, not to mention that they ought to hear and accept it. Were one to preach to such people about a rich man who was willing to give a lot of money to everyone who came and brought a pouch with him, the entire world would come running from all directions. But since we preaching about the child Jesus, who offers eternal life and salvation to the whole world, there is hardly anyone who covets this treasure.”
Luther is a funny guy. If you think about it, his ministry and message had a profound effect on the world. Thousands of Europeans found faith in Christ through his ministry, the protestant reformation was born, and to Luther, the response was way too small. How could that be? To Luther, the news of the birth of Christ was the most astonishing news of all time. To him, of course the whole world would respond. Still, amazingly the swine don’t get it.
I think back to the incredible time of visitation the church began to experience in 1994. To me, it was so precious, surely the whole world will respond. To my great surprise, the precious visitation of the Holy Spirit is not that important to everyone. I have to agree with Luther; scoundrels, dogs, and swine will never get it.