Whether you take that literally or metaphorically, the point seems to be that coming to Jesus can be hazardous to your health.
This was certainly true for the Magi. Knowing the horror Herod wrought upon baby boys in Bethlehem, it’s not hard to shudder at what he had planned for the Magi had they met up with him again. God warned them in a dream to take the back roads home, and fortunately they were the sort who paid serious attention to dreams. Their lives had been changed. They returned to their own country, but they went back as different people.
As a baby, Jesus already shattered human categories of religion and race and class and privilege. Outsiders are welcome inside. Before the story is over, the homeless and destitute, prostitutes, lepers, Roman centurions, condemned criminals, and the IRS will all be welcomed inside too. But the welcome wasn’t merely an opening of doors and putting out a welcome mat hoping outsiders might drop by. The disturbing beauty of the gospel is how Jesus became an outsider himself: marginalized and outcast, scandalized and condemned, he descended as low as humanity goes in order to raise us up.
New birth feels like death sometimes, because being born again means death to the sinful life you’ve been living, and that can hurt. Yet as painful as new birth can be, the new life it brings gets described, and experienced, as both abundant and eternal, full of grace and joy. We read that the Magi were “overwhelmed by joy” upon coming to Jesus—and he was still just a toddler. They bow before him and pay homage though he’d yet to speak a word or do a miracle. “They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praises of the Lord,” just like the prophet said they would.
From CTmagazine: RT ChrisOsmore: “The disturbing beauty of the gospel is how Jesus became an outsider himself: marginalized and outcast, scandalized and condemned, he descended as low as humanity goes in order to raise us up.”
Great article DanlHarrell… https://t.co/sOgaMFXzF5
— Carol Flohr Giles (@giles_carol) January 7, 2020