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True Light

Micah 1-5 • December 6, 2023 • g1279

Pastor Chris Amaro teaches a message through Micah 1-5 titled “True Light”

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Pastor Chris Amaro

December 6, 2023

Sermon Scripture Reference

We’ve got two main divisions tonight. I do not have a lot of subpoints. Normally, I’ve got a bunch of subpoints, I got it all broken down, but two main points for those of you that take notes. You might want to jot down notes as we’re going through it, but the first thing we’re going to look at is the promise of judgment. It sounds like a great promise, right? Who wants that promise? The promise of judgment. Lastly, as we get toward the end of our time tonight, we will look at the promise of Jesus, that’s way better. We have the promise of judgment and then the promise of Jesus.

This series, that myself and the high school students are going through, I titled, “The True Light.” Why “The True Light”? When John, the writer of the gospel of John, was starting to describe the story of Jesus, he started by talking about John the Baptist. He said about John the Baptist in John 1:8, “He was not that Light,”—speaking about John the Baptist—“He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.” Then, he said in verse 9, “That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world,”—speaking about Jesus. Jesus was, “…the true Light which gives light to every man,”—and I would say woman and child, I think it’s safe to add that—“coming into he world.”

Light is an important part of the Christmas season, isn’t it. How many of you have your Christmas lights up at home? How many of you have those up? Okay, very good. The rest of you, get with it. Let’s go (snapping fingers). The day after Thanksgiving my goal is to get the Christmas lights up. We’ve had a pretty busy season, a busy schedule lately, but I was finishing those up on Black Friday. That night I was out there. I got my jacket on and finished putting up the lights outside just to let everybody know, “Okay, Christmas season has started. Let’s go.” Lights are an important part of the season. We love lights everywhere. We want them on our houses, we want them in our trees, we want them on the Christmas tree. Isn’t that weird that we go and buy a tree and put it in our house? Isn’t that weird? It’s so strange, and then we put lights all over it. We put lights on the mantel. Lights are a wonderful thing. I love lights.

Jesus is the Light, or the, “…true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” But, how did all of that come about? Now, I told you that we would be in Micah, so we’re going to start at Micah 1 under that heading “Promise of Judgment.” We are not going to read every single verse from every chapter. Again, we’re going to get a good overview of Micah 1:1-5. We’ll hit some certain verses, we won’t read all of it, but we will start in Micah 1:1 because it gives us a good idea of what was going on, what was he doing, why is there a book named Micah.

It says, verse 1, “The word of the LORD that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.” We’ve got a good idea there, Micah, who was a prophet called by God, ministered during the reign of King Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, who we’re told were kings of Judah. Now, to give you a little bit of background, at this time, the time that this was written or the time that we’re being told about, there had been civil war in Israel. We think about Israel and it’s one country. At the time that this story is being told, there’s been some civil war, there’s been warring between the people of Israel, and there’s a northern Israel—you’re going to see that it’s referred to as Israel, sometimes referred to as Jacob, sometimes referred to as Samaria. All of those names are synonymous as far as our story is concerned. Then, you’re going to see that sometimes it’s talking about Judah or Jerusalem, and that would be considered the southern part of the country. So, you had the northern part with its own king and a southern part with its own king. You will find, if you go through Micah, that he ministers primarily to the southern part. However, he does address the northern part also, we’ll see that here. You’ll notice that it really zeros in on the kings of Judah, the southern part, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.

What about these guys? Jotham and Hezekiah were actually pretty good kings. If you’re a notetaker, in 2 Chronicles 27:1-2, talking about Jotham, it says, “Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok. 2 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah had done,”—it tells us there—“(although he did not enter the temple of the LORD),” but he did what was right in the sight of the Lord. You’ll notice at the end of 2 Chronicles 27:2 it says, “But still the people acted corruptly.” That’s the reason why Micah has been sent by the Lord to come and prophesy to the people, and even to these kings, (although he was contemporaries with Isaiah, and some other prophets actually, and Isaiah really, it seems, was called to talk to the higher ups, the royalty, the people that were in charge, and Micah seems to really be ministering to more of the everyday kind of people.) We’re told there that even though Jotham was a good king and did what was right in the sight of the Lord that the people still acted corruptly, even though they had a good leader.

Hezekiah did what was right in the sight of the Lord. He seems to be an excellent king. But what about Ahaz? Now, I told you that we would travel a little bit, so I’m going to have you turn in your Bibles to 2 Kings 16. It says this, “In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham, king of Judah, began to reign.” It was the same guy, Ahaz, as we see in Micah 1. “Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king.” Can you imagine that? What was I doing when I was twenty? Goodness! I was a little kid. “Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem,”—so remember Jerusalem, that would indicate the southern part, okay?—“and he did not do what was right in the sight of the LORD his God, as his father David had done,” he was a descendant of David, David was not directly his father.

Ahaz was not a good guy. How do we know that? Verse 3, “But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel,”—remember I was trying to not confuse you with the names, but it says—“But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel.” That would indicate that he was acting like the kings that were in the northern kingdom. They were already in trouble. They had already been taken over. They had already been taken captive, their land was occupied, and this guy Ahaz is acting like them.

What do you mean acting like them? What’re you talking about? Well, I’m glad that you asked because here’s what he says, “But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel; indeed he made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out from before the children of Israel.” He made his son pass through the fire? What in the world does that mean? Well, what that means is some of you may have been here a while back when I taught on a Sunday morning, we looked at a passage in Deuteronomy. We talked about how the children of Israel were preparing to go into the Promised Land. Moses is giving them all kinds of instructions reminding them of things he had already told them.

One of the big things that just continually comes up is that when you get into the new land, the Promised Land, the land of Canaan where the Canaanites are, the Perizzites, the Hittites, all of these people, he says, “You’ve gotta make sure that you do not worship the way that they do. They’re idolators.” One of the gods—one—that they worshipped was the god Molech. Everybody say, “Molech.” Yeah, not mole, okay? Some of you Latinos in here like, “Mole?” No, not mole, Molech. Molech had arms that extended from the body. It was made out of metal, and they would heat these arms up. And, to appease their god, the god Molech, they would sacrifice their own children on these arms burning them to death. There were all sorts of other things that they did. The idolatry included just all forms of sexual practices—men, women, children, animals, everything. Everything was allowed. The gods required all of that.

We’re told here that this king, Ahaz, this guy was so wicked that he even killed his own son, sacrificed his own son, made him, “pass through the fire.” That’s what that means. This is the king of Judah. And, check this out, if you go to the book of Matthew (don’t do that right now) and you go through the genealogy leading up to Joseph, who was the father, some people say the step-father, of Jesus, guess who’s in that lineage? This guy, Ahaz. What?! Wow! It says in 2 Kings 16:4, “And he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.” Those are all indicators. If you go through the book of Deuteronomy, you find out these are all indicators. This king, Ahaz, this king of Judah, was an idolator. He was practicing idolatry. The fact that he was sacrificing and burning “incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree,” nature was included in their worship practices along with all of the sinful practices, and he was doing all of these things.

If you skip down with me to verse 7, it says, “So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, saying, ‘I am your servant and your son. Come up and save me from the hand of the king of Syria and from the hand of the king of Israel,” because Syria and Israel in the northern part were making their way south. It says, “who rise up against me.’” Verse 8, “And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasuries of the king’s house, and sent it as a present to the king of Assyria.”

You say, “Well, he was sending gifts, sending presents. It sounds like Christmas. It sounds great.” No. What he was doing was paying off the king of Assyria and saying, “I’m trusting you to protect us,” when they should have been trusting God to protect them. He’s paying off these foreign kings. He’s going to learn a hard lesson because eventually—spoiler alert—the Assyrians will turn on him also and wipe him out. He’s trusting these other foreign entities, and that was a problem for God. God wanted to protect His own people. And, on top of that, this man is an idolator and we are told in Chronicles that he was leading the people astray morally, obviously we can see that. It was a bad time. It was a difficult time.

We can go back to Micah 1. We’re done with 2 Kings for tonight. In Micah 1 we’ll continue reading some key verses there. In verse 2 it says, “Hear, all you peoples! Listen, O earth, and all that is in it! Let the LORD God be a witness against you,”—there’s the first indicator, the Lord is going to witness against you—not in your favor, but against you. He goes on to say, verse 3, “For behold, the LORD is coming out of His place;” is that good or bad? We’ll continue reading and it says, “He will come down,” and we say, “Oh, that sounds pretty cool. God’s coming out of His place, He’s going to come down.” And then we read at the end of verse 3, “And tread on the high places of the earth,”—tread on high places, okay, I’m not too sure. Well, it becomes very clear in verse 4, “The mountains will melt,”—okay, that’s definitely not good. So, now we understand: when the Lord comes, it’s not going to be a good visit because the mountains will melt under Him, and we’re told in verse 4, “And the valleys will split.” We move to verse 5, “All this is for the transgression of Jacob, And for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And what are the high places of Judah? Are they not Jerusalem?”

What he has just revealed for us there is this. I told you that Micah is primarily prophesying against the southern kingdom, but what he just did in verse 5 was he mentioned, “…the transgression of Jacob, And for the sins of the house of Israel.” You may remember I told you that the name Israel and the name Jacob—synonymous. That indicates the northern kingdom, okay? which they had already been occupied. Then, he says, “What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria?” That was the capital city in the north. Then, he says, “And what are the high places of Judah?” Just so you know, “high places.” Whenever the Bible talks about. . .you’ll see it in the Old Testament, the “high places,” that’s not a good thing. That is an indicator that idolatry is taking place, and they would go and fill up all of the high places. In other words, they would go up into the hills and build their altars to their idols up in the hills as high as they could, probably feeling like, “I need to get as close as I can to my god to try and appease him.” So, the “high places” are not a good thing.

He’s just mentioned, “…the transgression of Jacob. . .the sins of the house of Israel,” we’re talking about the same group of people, Jacob and Israel, transgressions and sins. He says, “What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria?” the capital city of the north. But then he turns his attention to the south and says, “And what are the high places of Judah?” There were high places—idolatry—happening in Judah, and he says, “Are they not Jerusalem?”

Jerusalem is the capital in the south. You follow me? Good? Okay. Samaria and Jerusalem, he just called them out. What he is saying is that those would have been considered the big cities. (I don’t like this garland here. Normally I like to be hanging off the edge trying to get as close as I can to you. I’ve almost kicked it a few times.) He’s calling out the big cities saying, “Listen, these capital cities, these big cities, Samaria and Jerusalem,” at the heart of the countries, the northern part and the southern part, “those places are wicked, and because of that,” what Micah is saying, “is that judgment is coming.”

It’s not hard for you and me to understand, right? I mean, we’re way out here in little ol’ Mentucky in the “‘fee,” and we all look and say, “L.A., nah.” Some of us used to live out there, and that’s why you’re here because you say, “Oh, man, the big city, wicked,” you know. We think of San Francisco, nah. We think of New York, nah. We understand the concept or idea that a big city, that’s where all the mess is happening, right? Is there “mess” in Menifee? There absolutely is, maybe it’s on a smaller scale. This is more of a conservative area, we understand that. We understand that those bigger cities, a lot of times that’s where all the action is happening. That’s where all the sin is happening. There’s sin all over the place, but in these big cities, obviously, it’s popular—it’s the thing to do, everyone and everything is just welcome, and you can just live however you want, do whatever you want out in the open. That’s the idea. What God, through the prophet Micah, is pointing out is that these capital cities at the time were problematic. There was wickedness happening there. We say, “Yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense.” But it wasn’t just the capital cities, it was the land—north and south. There was wickedness happening everywhere.

We already read that Jotham was a good king who did what was right in the sight of the Lord, but still the people acted very corruptly. So, it wasn’t just those big cities, but he’s zeroing in on them. He’s primarily talking about them saying, “Listen, that’s the heart of the problem right there.” In Micah 1:6 he says, “Therefore I will make Samaria,”—that’s northern or southern, family? Northern. You got it—“a heap of ruins in the field.” He goes on in verse 7 and describes for us, “All her carved images,”—notice that’s idols—“shall be beaten to pieces, And all her pay as a harlot,”—prostitute—“shall be burned with the fire; All her idols I will lay desolate, For she gathered it from the pay of a harlot, And they shall return to the pay of a harlot.”

He goes on in verse 9 to say, talking about Israel and Judah, “For her wounds are incurable. For it has come to Judah; It has come to the gate of My people—To Jerusalem.” In other words, the southern part is infected. It’s infected. It wasn’t just the northern part, but now the southern part also, “It has come to the gate. . .To Jerusalem,” the capital city. It is infected.

Not, stop for a moment. I told you when we started several minutes ago that we were going to be looking at a very important portion of the Christmas story. Does this sound like a Christmas message to you so far? Uh-uh, but there is a method to my madness. What I am attempting to do right now, and I will share some more with you. You may not want to hear anymore of this, but I have to give you a good idea of what’s happening. What I am attempting to do right now is to share…by the time we get to the end of our time together, to share an incredible beautiful verse with you. In order for you to understand the importance and the impact of that verse, you have got to see the dark or the bleak background to which that verse was set against. When you see that contrast, and I’m going to do my best to tie it all in, then I’m praying, I’m hoping that by the time we leave here that verse will be that much more important to you—you’ll have some context; you’ll have some background. You with me, church? Yes? Alright.

Let’s look at Micah 2, we’ll move through these very quickly. “Woe to those who devise iniquity, And work out evil on their beds! At morning light they practice it, Because it is in the power of their hand.” What he does in Micah 2 is he really is addressing the fact that the rich, the wealthy people, are oppressing the poor. He’s saying there they devise iniquity, “And work out evil on their beds!” In other words, they don’t go to sleep because at night they’re just thinking about all the evil things they’re going to do in the morning. Then he says, “At morning light they practice it.” Notice what they do, verse 2, “They covet fields and take them by violence, Also houses, and seize them. So they oppress a man and his house, A man and his inheritance.”

At the end of verse 3 it says, “For this is an evil time.” If you move down further into verse 6, he talks about the problem of lying prophets. Here’s what the people were saying, “‘Do not prattle,’ you say to those who prophesy.” In other words, Micah, Isaiah, the other prophets, they were going around speaking the truth or prophesying, trying to warn people, and the people were telling them, “Stop prattling!” In other words, “Stop chattering.” In other words we would say, “Stop running your mouth. I don’t even know what you’re talking about.” They were brushing off the prophets and their prophesies, their messages from God. In verse 6 he says, “So they shall not prophesy to you; They shall not return insult for insult.”

Verse 8, “Lately My people have risen up as an enemy—You pull off the robe with the garment From those who trust you,”—they trust you, and you’re stripping them—“as they pass by, Like men returned from war. 9 The women of My people you cast out From their pleasant houses; From their children You have taken away My glory forever.”

There is a dramatic switch in verse 12 where Micah begins to talk about a restoration. That is very common. When you get some of these Old Testament prophets, major or minor as you’re going through, you hear this judgment taking place; but then God always manages to slip in some hope to say, “Listen, this judgment is coming. It will not last forever. It is coming, but there is some hope.”

In Micah 3, turn there with me, he begins to talk about the wicked rulers and prophets. He says, “Hear now, O heads of Jacob, And you rulers of the house of Israel,” again, he’s addressing that northern part, but this is for the entire country. Verse 2, look at this description, “You who hate good and love evil,” sound familiar? Baby, this is America. This is the world that we’re living in. “Who strip the skin from My people, And the flesh from their bones; 3 Who also eat the flesh of My people, Flay their skin from them, Break their bones, And chop them in pieces Like meat for the pot, Like flesh in the caldron. 4 Then they will cry to the LORD, But He will not hear them,”—how devastating—“He will even hide His face from them at that time, Because they have been evil in their deeds.”

You see, what’s going on, he’s saying that the rich and the strong, the powerful, are mistreating, torturing, and taking advantage of the poor and the weak. He says when the poor and the weak cry out to the LORD, God’s not coming to their rescue. Why? I thought God loved the poor and the weak? He does, but these poor and these weak in this particular story were people that have been evil, and so it’s part of the judgment. Terrifying.

In Micah 4, excellent chapter filled with hope. Wonderful verses in there. If you get a chance, read through that. We’re not going to do that tonight because we’re short on time, but it’s an incredible chapter.

Finally, we come to Micah 5. In verse 2, we read these words, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” Ahh! Finally. There’s the Christmas verse that we were looking for. There’s the verse that is going to show up on a Christmas card. Maybe it’ll be on your Christmas card that you send out to people, or it’ll be on some Christmas cards that you get or you’ll see it on one of the signs at Hobby Lobby or you might see it somewhere else—somebody’s front yard might have one of the yard signs. This is a popular Christmas verse, and this is what we were headed to, but in order to look at this verse, we needed to understand the background and the context that this verse was set in.

You see, Christmas 2023 is characterized by beautiful decorations—trees, greens and reds and golds and silver, gifts wrapped up, bows. I love to wrap gifts. I don’t like to use bags, I like to wrap—shiny paper, ribbons on there, put under the tree. We have beautiful manger scenes, and everything looks so clean, so sterile, so beautiful. You and I, we want to understand. We want to get the full impact of this Christmas season, this holiday that we celebrate, and what you and I need to understand, and this is what I’m hoping you’ll get from this, is what I’m sharing with you.

What I just read to you from Micah 5:2, it is believed that this was written or spoken seven hundred years before the birth of a little peasant boy in Bethlehem Ephrathah, Jesus—seven hundred years. Did you know that at the time that Jesus was born, even that time…we think of the wise men, the shepherds, the angel, “Oh, man, how beautiful. I wish I could’ve been there.” Really? When Herod found out that Jesus had been born, he had all of the male children killed. That’s the kind of society that they were living in. That was the first Christmas. It was not all lights and candles and choirs and romanticism. It was a very dark time. If you go back and read Isaiah 7:14, you get another wonderful Bible verse there, said at the same time. You see, that’s the point. This is the point of Christmas, that even today in 2023, our world is falling apart. Can I get an, “Amen?”

Let me say something to you. I don’t want to bum you out, maybe I have already. In a sense, it makes no difference which political party that’s voted in in the next election, this world is still falling apart; and it is going to continue to do so in this great United States of America that we live in and that I love. I’ve not traveled extensively, but I’ve traveled to some other countries and have yet to experience a better country than this one. But from top to bottom, and bottom back up to the top, we are corrupt. At every level of society, every level of government, corrupt; and there is no hope apart from Jesus of Nazareth.

As you and I, as we go into the Christmas season, man, we want to understand this is a beautiful time. This is my favorite time of year, my favorite time of year, but why? Because it’s indicative of hope. A little peasant Baby was born two thousand years ago, the first Christmas, Jesus the Savior, the True Light who gave light to all men coming into the world. That’s why we’re doing all of this. That’s why we have all of this beauty. It is because of all of the ugliness out there, and that’s what makes this so beautiful, so calming, so peaceful. That’s why we send cards to one another, pictures of our family. It’s because we’re excited about the fact that Jesus was born into this world, and that presents hope for all of us. It presents light, and the world needs that.

Let me say something before we close, Micah 5:2, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,” he had to be specific about which Bethlehem. There were actually two Bethlehems—there’s one further north and the one in the south. He says, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah.” We all go, “Oh, Bethlehem, oh, man, that’s incredible.” Notice what he says about this Bethlehem. He says, “Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,” in other words, “Bethlehem Ephrathah, you’re insignificant. Can anything good come out of Bethlehem?” He says, “Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,” he recognizes that, he indicates that. He says, “Yet out of you shall come forth to Me, The One,”—not someone, but—“The One,”—we all understand that’s Jesus—“to be Ruler in Israel.” Then we find out, I told you already that this was written, spoken/written, some seven hundred years prior to the birth of Jesus, and he says, “Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” In other words, God has had this plan in place for a really long time.

Christmas was in the mind, on the heart, of God. He was waiting for the perfect opportunity to send Jesus into the world—the perfect gift—and He was going to be born into Bethlehem. Bethlehem? Who’s coming from…what about Jerusalem? It’s the capital city. The capital city was rotten to its core, and he says, “Little Bethlehem over there. God’s going to use Bethlehem to introduce the Savior of the world into the world.” Incredible! He would be born in Bethlehem, in a stable. Isn’t that incredible? A King without a castle; a Prince without a palace. That was God’s plan—for Mary, this young virgin girl, to give birth to a little baby Boy. That’s it? That’s Your plan? That’s how You’re going to rescue the world? It was absolutely brilliant.

As we finish, let’s do this. I’m going to have you turn with me one more time, so we can finish up. Let’s go to Matthew 2, and that’s where we will finish. “Now, after Jesus was born,” so you make sure you tell Pastor John I didn’t teach the Christmas message, okay? I don’t want to blow it for him. We’re talking about way before, seven hundred years before, Pastor John, and now after the birth of Jesus. He says, “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 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.” They were coming from the East. They had seen a star, they followed that star, it led them there.

Notice in verse 3, “When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” Herod wasn’t rejoicing. He wasn’t happy. He was not excited about this, “…he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” Why? Because if Herod is upset, if he loses his head, other people might lose their heads, and they understand that. Herod does not want any competition for his throne, and so he hears about this, “What do you mean this King of the Jews? What’re you talking about?”

Here’s what he does, verse 4, “And when he had gathered,”—this is Herod, a wicked man—“all the chief priests and scribes of the people together,”—so he brings all of the religious leaders, all of the Bible teachers, gathers them all up, and it says—“he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.” “Tell me, where’s this prophecy? Where’s this Christ, this Messiah, this King of the Jews, where is He supposed to be born?” I’ve been hearing this story probably all of my life, and the older I get this just blows my mind more and more every year. Understand what’s going on here. Herod hears that the Messiah is being born into the world, he gathers up all his religious leaders and says, “Where is this supposed to take place?”

Verse 5, “So they said to him, 'In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet,”—what prophet? Micah. You and I read it, and I love this paraphrase that they give him here, “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler,”—and then they quoted from Micah 5:3—“Who will shepherd My people Israel.’” See that? When they needed an answer concerning Jesus, the religious leaders said, “It’s written in Micah 5,” well, they didn’t have chapters then, but, “It’s written in Micah,” and they went back and they read it to him.

We would assume that at this point this man Herod would say, “Ah, okay. God spoke about this, okay. I guess this has gotta happen,” but is that what Herod did? No. In fact it says, “Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said,”—it was about five miles away—“Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me,”—and then he lies through his grimy teeth—“that I may come and worship Him also.” In fact, that is not what he did.

If you do not know the rest of the story, you want to go on and read. It’s part of the Christmas story. The wise men, after they go and visit Jesus and Mary, they’re warned by God not to go back to Herod, and so they split. They leave the country a different way. When Herod realizes what they did, he immediately orders the murder, the killing, of all Jewish male boys two years old and younger. It’s horrific. Part of the problem, the challenge for you and me, is that we read that and say, “Okay, yes, it’s in the Bible, okay. It’s part of the story, let’s move on. What’s the next chapter?” No. We’re talking about baby boys murdered just in cold blood because a man was fearing for his throne. This is their leader, Herod, and he’s killing all of their children. Can you imagine? Those of you that are moms in here, your beautiful little two-year-old baby boy being torn from your hands and killed in front of you. It’s part of the Christmas story. It’s horrific. But because Jesus was born into the world, we have hope, even in the darkest of times.

For a lot of people, this season is depressing for them. You’ve lost loved ones. Maybe you’re alone. It’d be one of the most loneliness times of the whole year for you, and you don’t like it. But the fact that Jesus was born into this dark world means that we have hope. It means that there’s a Light that has shined on us, and for those of us that are Christians, the Light has shined in us also.

Let me share this as we close. Herod came this close to Jesus, but because he was so very afraid and so very committed to building his own kingdom, he missed Christmas, the greatest Christmas there ever was.

Friends, if you are all tied up in trying to do your own thing, trying to make your own life happen, trying to build up your own kingdom, trying to make sure that the throne of your heart is occupied by you, you know what? You can have all the best decorations, you can have all the best Christmas presents and have all the gold and the glitter, everything that shines, you can have all of it, and you can come this close to Jesus and then completely miss Him. You don’t want to do that. What you want to do is you want to be like the wise men who came, sought out Jesus, found Him, and it says that they worshiped Him. It was the first thing that they did when they got there, they worshiped Him. There were gifts, whatever, but they worshiped Him.

You want to place your faith in Jesus because if you haven’t yet, you want to place your faith in Jesus because if you do not do that, you’re going to come “this close;” but “this close” is not good enough. You do not want to miss Christmas. You do not want to miss Jesus. You need to surrender your heart to Him because Jesus, He came to give us light, and that’s what you need, that’s what I need. We need light in these dark hearts of ours or we will continue on in our darkness, in our hopelessness, in our loneliness, groping like a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that’s not there, grabbing and grasping for things that are never going to satisfy us.

So, this year, surrender your heart to Jesus so that you can experience Christmas for the first time.

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About Pastor Chris Amaro

Pastor Chris Amaro is the High School Pastor at Revival Christian Fellowship

Sermon Summary

Pastor Chris Amaro teaches a message through Micah 1-5 titled “True Light”

Pastor Photo

Pastor Chris Amaro

December 6, 2023