The Abuser in the Christmas Story
[August 12, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]
Christmas Day and we are STILL talking about abusers! Are we obsessed at A Cry For Justice? No, not really; but we do talk abusers often because exposing their tactics and mindset is a big part of helping victims get free.
So the title of this post might make it look like we are hyper-focused on abusers, but if we are hyper-focused, it’s only because the church has failed to focus on abusers and their tactics for so long, that a redressing of the balance is necessary. There is a great need to renew our minds and breathe fresh air rather than FOG.
So where is the abuser in the Christmas story? Well, that’s easy.
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, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
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.”
After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
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.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men (Matthew 2:1-16 ESV) [Emphasis added.]
I almost feel like I don’t have to explain this any more. The bolding I added is sufficient to make the point: Herod ‘was troubled’ when he heard that the Lord had been born — someone who would take the limelight off him! Someone who might threaten his power! But he wasn’t transparent about where the troubled feelings were coming from; he didn’t let it be known that he was on alert because his narcissistic supply was threatened. No; he pretended to want to worship the Lord, but he really hated Him and wanted to destroy him. He craftily tried to recruit allies and wheedle information out of them so that he could get at the baby, his target.
And had it not been for the intervention of God; the dreams given to the wise men and Joseph, baby Jesus would have been killed in infancy.
Abusers often amp up their abuse when their partner is pregnant and gives birth to the first baby. Abusers can’t abide another creature, especially a small, dependent, needy creature like a baby, taking the attention from them.
Herod pretended to want to worship the child. Simeon really did worship Him, with overflowing love and thanks.
“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:29-35 ESV)
That child, the Lord Jesus Christ, was appointed for the fall and the rising of many that the thoughts of hearts may be revealed. And He is still opposed today. And He still reveals the hearts of men and women today. Those who receive Him rise. Those who reject Him fall. The stony hearted unrepentant abusers, the Herods who simper and scheme and lie and then pull out their swords when they think they can get away with it — they shall fall.
All glory to God for His justice and love!
[August 12, 2022: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to August 12, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to August 12, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to August 12, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (August 12, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]