Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. 7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. 9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
Those who had sat in darkness, and in the land of the shadow of death, saw a great light! (See Matt 4:12-16. And notice that the Lord Jesus “departed into Galilee of the Gentiles!”). It is only in the voidness of darkness where we hear the effectual words of God’s creativity, “Let there be light!” For the darkness is essential for the proper relating to God’s glory! It is those of the darkness who are made wise, in order that God, and never man, gets all the glory!
1Corinthians 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
“I Came to Make Those Blind Who See!”
John 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
But the darkness of religious-hardened Jerusalem is far different, and far more fatal than the unevangelized darkness of the east! The Lord Jesus plainly instructs the religious elite in his day that his purpose in coming to the earth was to make them blind! – There is no darkness like “Jerusalem Darkness!” He only came to seek and save those who are lost! That is, salvation is only for realized, confessed sinners! The Incarnation, the cross, and even the very blood of Christ will have no effect on anyone but sinners! John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Those who say, “We see!”, due to their religious training and conduct, shall eternally remain in their sin! What is that we sing? “I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind but now I see!” But these Jerusalem dwellers had the scriptures to tell them where the child was to be born. The scriptures would certainly identify the town. But they would not lead them to the very house for personal audience with the Messiah! Therefore in their ”Jerusalem Darkness” they refused to believe that they were blinded to the glories of the Lord! They said of themselves, “We see!” And of this state the Lord Jesus proclaims, “therefore your sin remaineth.” There are none so blind as those who will not see!
“Jerusalem Darkness” is from a Satanic blindness! 2Cor. 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
Notice the word “lost” in verse three. These lost souls are not in the same condition of those who are the “lost” that the Lord comes to seek, and to save in Luke 19:10! For these are those who have sinned away their day of grace! For in verse four we are told that Satan has blinded their minds! But that is not the source of their blindness! The source of their blindness is unbelief! “Jerusalem Darkness” stems from the refusal to believe the gospel of Christ! Then Satan, as God’s servant of darkness, is sent to blind their minds for one purpose! – So that the glorious gospel of Christ should neve shine into their minds ever again!
Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. This passage clearly informs us that those who have enjoyed the influences of the Holy Spirit in gospel “enlightenment,” become “impossible” to renew again regarding repentance! They now abide in “Jerusalem Darkness!”
As far as their individual conditions are concerned, it would have been better for them to have never involved themselves with the Holy Scriptures, if they were not going to confess themselves as sinners! 2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
The nineth verse of our Matthew, chapter two passage, tells of the difference of the effectual light of the gospel in the hearts of those who believe. For here we read that the heavenly luminary goes before them, leading them, not just to the gates of Bethlehem, but to the very house where the young child was!
And in verse six of our 2 Corinthian, chapter four passage, we read of a far different result in those who believe the gospel while hearing it, than those unbelievers, blinded by Satan! 2Cor. 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Did you notice the difference? The light of the knowledge of the glory shined into their hearts! This is the difference between religionists and true believers! The religions are ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth! (2Tim. 3:7). And the reason is, THEY CAN NEVER SEE THE GLORY!
The wise men had seen hundreds of stars! What made this star different? And just how did they come to identify it as, “his star!” It was accompanied with God’s glory! Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. 2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
Reread 2 Corinthians 4:6, listed just three paragraphs above. What kind of knowledge was it that effectually shines into believing hearts? Is is not the “light of the knowledge OF THE GLORY OF GOD?
America, like Jerusalem, has had a day of great gospel glory! And America, like Jerusalem has turned from the spiritual to just a religion of traditions! So America would do well to find out what happened to Jerusalem, in order to find out what awaits her!
Matt. 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. The “house” of which the Lord here speaks was her temple!
The Lord removed his glory from that religious temple. Ezekiel 11:22 Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. 23 And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.
Ezek. 43:10 Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. 11 And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them. A God-granted repentance is our only hope!
Pastor Gene Breed