There’s an old idiom you’ve probably heard before: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. We see this all the time as we shop at garage sales, or have our own. Inevitably, someone will inexplicably be selling the most amazing thing, or be overjoyed at the junk I have for sale.
It’s fascinating that this is true of Christmas too. The birth of Jesus was a great treasure for many, but some saw it as trash. Consider King Herod:
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” Matthew 2:7-8
At first, it seems like a case of Christmas Joy. But just a few verses later, we see it’s actually a case of Christmas Jealousy:
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Matthew 2:13
Herod only wanted to find Jesus so he could kill him. He feared what Jesus represented. Sometimes, it seems like encountering Jesus is a mixed bag. At first, it sounds wonderful. Forgiveness, hope, life, and freedom? Sign me up! But then the devil and my sinful self try to deceive me. They tell me this means giving up control of my life to someone else. It means giving up that secret sin I love so much. It means changing the way I think, speak, and live.
But the true joy of Christmas is that Jesus cuts through those lies. Jesus came to free us from slavery to sin and bring us into new life with Him. Jesus was born to fight for you, and if He is for us, who can be against us?