Don’t Miss Jesus

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied.
Matthew 2:2-4

Most of us have a list of missed opportunities we can easily recall. Years ago, my husband and I looked into buying a 5-acre lot a few houses from ours. We ultimately decided to pass on the investment. A year later a contractor bought it and put five houses on it, two of which, after he cut out all the brush, have a beautiful view of the city. It would have been a gorgeous site to build one house and have a large yard, but we missed out because we didn’t have the vision.

The wise men followed the star as far as Jerusalem before stopping for directions. Unfortunately, Herod wasn’t one to share his glory or his kingdom. His distress at the news of a new king sent the whole city into a panic. He called for the Jewish leaders to identify where this king, who Herod, prompted by the wise men, identified as the Messiah, was to be born. They reported the Messiah would come from Bethlehem, a mere five and a half miles away.

Had the chief priests and teachers of the law heard the rumors from Bethlehem a year or two earlier? How far did the shepherds’ report travel? Did these leaders leave Herod that day wondering anew if the long-awaited Christ child had arrived? Did they humble themselves in prayer, pleading for open eyes to see God’s plan? Or did they let knowledge of the birth of the Savior slip through their hands?

If I’m honest, too often I am just like those Jewish leaders. I miss out on opportunities to spend time with Jesus as I fall for distraction. An hour or two slips away on social media or watching news and gathering facts rather than going to the source of truth. Too often I fall into senseless and divisive quarrels instead of being consumed with God’s love. God’s abundant grace should motivate me to unyielding love. More often than not, grace goes unheeded and, consequently I fail to follow through with a life of worship.

We have unprecedented access to God’s Word. Bibles are easily available. Apps provide the Word at our fingertips. Sermons and studies have never been easier to access. Even in a pandemic that made getting together in person difficult at times, God prepared technology for such a time as this.

How tragic to miss the opportunity to know our Creator and Redeemer by letting time with him slip through our hands! Jesus was not just the baby in the manger, but the Son of God who carried our sins and paid our debt. And while we too often neglect our relationship with him, he is never too busy or unconcerned to meet with us. Jesus said, “…whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37).

I don’t want to miss the chance to know what God willingly reveals about himself in his Word. And I certainly don’t want to miss all he would give me if I only took the time to meet with him in prayer. Kindle in us a desire to seek you, Lord!


Father use your Spirit to draw us to you. Help us to see and avoid distractions that keep us from the relationship you want with us. Bless us with the closeness of walking with our Savior God, that we bring others to know and love you, too. Amen.

Written by Amber Albee Swenson
Provided by WELS Women’s Ministry

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