In Matthew, the magi leave by a different route, and Herod is furious that he has been outwitted by them. He orders all the male children age two and under to be slaughtered. It is hard, in our finite minds, to understand how God could allow this suffering to happen. It is a mystery indeed.
Spiritual darkness is in the world because of original sin and man is always in a constant struggle against Satan, who is the Prince of Darkness. Even Paul says in Romans 7:24-25, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” He is the Light of the World.
In our daily lives, we struggle with sin. Each one of us has our weakness. What is yours? Instead of walking in darkness, we need to walk in the light. Our only hope to have victory over sin in our life is to spend time with Jesus Christ in his Word and in prayer. I like the words of Hebrews 12:4 which say, “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. He is the Light of the World.
Christ’s whole life was filled with suffering and persecution, up to the ultimate persecution, death on the cross so our salvation was won. He obtained pardon and reconciliation with our heavenly Father. All who choose to follow Christ will have suffering, persecution and martyrdom. There is no crown without the cross.
Suffering takes many forms: physical pain, emotional trauma, slander, abuse, poverty, illness, disease, handicap, and injustice. Jesus says in Matthew 5, Blessed (Makarios in Greek) are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.
In the Lexical Aids to the New Testament, it says that Makarios differs from happy because happy is the person who has good luck. A blessed person is one whom God makes fully satisfied, not because of favorable circumstances, but because He indwells the believer through Christ. To be blessed is equivalent to having God’s kingdom within one’s heart.
He is the Light of the World.
Pray – Jesus Christ, darkness permeates the world we live in. Satan has taken everything you have wonderfully made and twisted it into something sinful and dark. Help me to see that the path to righteousness is not easy. Sin and suffering will always be part of my life, but my help is in you. You are the light of the World. I pray that I will throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and run with perseverance the race marked out for me. Help me to keep my eyes on you, the author and perfecter of my faith. Amen.