Matthew 2:1-8

How long would it take to walk six miles? It depends on your physical health but you could walk it in a couple of hours.

Here’s another question. If someone trustworthy tells you that Christ came to the town next to you about six miles away, would you walk that six miles?Yes. In fact, we will run to him. We think it’s the only answer we can give. We can’t find any reason not to walk six miles to see Christ.  

But there were people who refused to walk six miles to see the true king. They were King Herod and his servants in the palace.  But why? Why did they refuse to go? Did they not know who was born? No, the three wise men went to the palace and told them about the Good News. Did they not know where he was born? When Herod asked where the Christ was to be born, the religious leaders knew the answer, in Bethlehem of Judea. They were professionals who knew their Scripture on top of their head. They knew both who was born and where he was born. 

If they knew the truth, why didn’t they go to Bethlehem? I think they knew too much. They simply knew too much. They never made a journey from head to heart. Their intellectual knowledge made them spiritually dull to the Good News. Is it possible to know too much and be wrong? Yes, you can study so long, compare so many opinions, read so many books, and debate so many ideas that you never get around to making a commitment to anything. You are “ever learning but never able to acknowledge the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7).

Knowledge is good but at some point but you have decide what you believe. It’s not enough to say, “I’ve studied religion enough. I studied the Bible. I studied Christianity. I listen to all the theologians. I have read the latest books.” That’s good. But what use is your great knowledge if you never make a personal commitment? As long as Jesus is a theory to you, he does not mean much to you. It does not matter how much you know when your knowledge does not help you believe.  If the heart is not right, no amount of Bible knowledge can make up the difference. If the heart is not right, no amount of religion can save it.

Anselm of Canterbury said, 

"For I do not seek to understand in order to believe, but I believe in order to understand."

Will you believe in God when you finally have full understanding of who God is? No. If that's the case, you will never come to fully know him because you won't full know God until you put your trust in God. If you want to come to full understanding of Christ, you can’t do it with your mind alone. You need to believe with your heart.

They were six miles away from Jesus! Six miles!

You could walk it in a couple hours easily.

Six miles away from long-expected Jesus.

Six miles away from salvation.

Six miles away from eternal life.

Six miles but none of the scribes cared enough to go. They were too busy studying the Bible to see for themselves. It is possible to know a great deal and still miss the truth. They did nothing about the truth. 

Jesus is born in Bethlehem, only six hours from us. Let us translate miles into days. We are only six days away from Christmas Sunday. My invitation to you is: Let us walk that six miles together to celebrate the birth of Christ. Are you with Herod and the scribes? Are you too busy to get involved? OR are you willing to walk that six miles to celebrate the birth of our Savior?

Will you walk that six miles to see baby Jesus? Not literally walking six miles but metaphorically. Think about the things you can do in the remaining six days away from Christmas Sunday. Things that require you to believe. Things that God really want us to do.  Things that are challenging for you. Things that will prepare ourselves to meet our baby Jesus. Think about the ways you can share the gift of Christmas with others. 

We are called to share the gift of Christmas, the love of God in the form of a baby, with others who are hungry, thirsty, and sick. I encourage all of you to walk those six miles, receive the gift of Christmas, share that gift with others, and confess "My eyes have seen your salvation!"