They were looking, hoping, and searching. Though hope was beginning to fade, there were still a few people who were looking for the Messiah. Israel had been waiting years for the Messiah to come, rescue, and free them from the oppression of their oppressors. Many of the Jews were looking for the Messiah to set up His Kingdom here on earth. They were expecting, hoping that God would come with His mighty army and conquer Rome with an iron fist, restoring Israel back to where they thought they belonged. Their hope was in a political king who would establish a kingdom with power from above-providing protection, flourishing, and military might destroying their enemies.
But, as we know, their hope was misplaced.
Jesus came as a baby, not as a king on a warhorse.
Jesus was born in a cave, not in a palace.
Jesus was born into poverty, not into wealth.
Jesus was born to unwed parents, not in the house of the religious elite.
Jesus came quietly, not with an announcement to the world.
Jesus came in the most unexpected way, yet he brought us the greatest hope the world has ever known.
If God believed that hope could be found in defeating Rome and establishing His Kingdom on earth, then He would have come on a warhorse with His legion of angels.
But Jesus knew that the only hope that would change the world and our lives would require deeper work of our heart, soul, and lives; forgiveness, healing, peace, love, justice, reconciliation, redemption, and restoration that can only be found in Him. Something that an “earthly” kingdom cannot do. An earthly kingdom can only write laws, enforce laws, and rule over people. It is incapable of changing hearts. Hope cannot be found in a position of government, political party, or in any earthly power.
Hope could only be found in Jesus.
Hope is a confident expectation that God will deliver on His promises.
Hope is a conviction that God will come through even in the hardest of times.
Hope persuades us to push forward even when feeling as though we can’t go on.
Hope is obtained because we are convinced that His love will never let us go!
Yet today, there are many people who are putting their faith in government. A hope that if only our person could be elected, then there will be peace, justice, and protection of our way of life. We fight and claw for our political party or politician. When we fight so hard, are we putting our hope in something that is temporary? Are we doing more damage to the Kingdom of God? Is our hope misplaced?
But, as the birth of Jesus has shown us, hope can only be found in a baby, born in Bethlehem. It is a hope that is eternal. It is a hope that will can, is, and will change the world.