Just before Christmas we are confronted with John the Baptizer in prison sending word to Jesus and asking if he is the “one to come”, or should people be looking for another?” Jesus lists what he is doing and then makes this statement. “And blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended by me”, Matthew 11:6.
Christmas Eve is that marvelous quiet and peaceful time that we remember from childhood. The Scripture messages around it are full of fear and a lot of hatred towards the “Lord and His Anointed”. The death of Stephen, the death of the innocents in Bethlehem because of Herod’s madness, all show the worlds hatred of the Christ. That hatred would eventually lead to an accusation by religious leaders that Jesus was in league with the devil. Luther had a few words to say about this.
“This is indeed a strange out rage, that the world should be out raged about Christ who awakens the dead, gives sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf and who preaches the gospel to the poor in spirit. If any man takes such a savior to be a devil, what sort of God does he really want? Yet this is where things become clear: Christ wants to give the kingdom of heaven but the world wants the kingdom of the earth. Christ wants to give immortal eternal blessed and heavenly goods, but the world wants earthly transient goods, which give men more trouble and fear than pleasure and joy and therefore they become quarrelsome and angry.” Martin Luther’s meditation on December 23.