by | Dec 23, 2021 | character, Christmas, Uncategorized

Jesus was born during a dark time of human history.

Multiple Jewish religious factions existed:

  1. The Pharisees – This faction was zealous for their religious traditions. Their passion for their traditions deteriorated into a form of godliness with no power. Jesus described them as whitewashed tombs. They looked good on the outside, but on the inside . . . not so much. The Pharisees were patriotic from a political perspective.
  2. The Scribes – This group served as “Yoda” in questions of faith and practice. They added to the Law of Moses hundreds of rules that became a heavy burden on the Jewish people.
  3. The Sadducees – This faction was a wealthy aristocracy who didn’t believe in the hundreds of rules added to the Law by the Scribes. Their chief interest was politics, not religion.
  4. The Essenes – This group was a sect who lived mostly in isolated communities west of the Dead Sea.
  5. The Herodians – The members of this group were strong supporters of the Roman government.
  6. The Zealots – Zealots were similar in beliefs to the Pharisees but insisted on overthrowing Rome.

Quite a menu, huh? The tension between these factions was palpable.

Morally, the world was in a state of moral decay. Slavery was rampant. The Roman Empire had six million slaves. The rich lived high on the hog. Marital fidelity was the exception; divorce and infidelity were the rule. The religious priests preyed upon the ignorant masses. Many cults exerted a morally degrading influence. Thousands of lives were sacrificed in the Coliseum for the entertainment of the Emperor and a bloodthirsty population. Children were devalued. Tacitus wrote that “The spirit of the times was to corrupt and be corrupted.” Idol worship was pervasive. Crime was out of control.

This was the world Jesus was born into. A time of deep religious division and moral corruption. “The people living in darkness have seen a great light.” Isaiah 9:2. The prophet Isaiah, 700 years before the birth of Christ, prophesied about this dark time in the world, and the arrival of the “great light,” Jesus the Christ. His light was greater than the darkness of the world He was born into.

Isn’t amazing how history tends to repeat itself? We are living in a world experiencing increasing disarray. The people of God are wrestling with deep divisions around politics, morals, materialism, etc. The moral climate of our world seems to be trending downward. Babies are seen in many circles as an inconvenience instead of the incredible blessings they are. Life in general seems to be devalued more and more, violence is escalating, regard for human life in general is decreasing.

What can we do? “The people living in darkness have seen a great light.” Jesus is still the answer 2000 years after His first appearance in human form on planet earth. He is the light in a dark, depressed world. He was greater than the darkness 2000 years ago . . . and He still is. Can I challenge all of us who name Jesus as our Lord and Savior? In the middle of what seems to be a hopeless decline of our world, let’s reflect Jesus’ light. Let’s reflect His light in a morally deficient culture. Let’s grow the fruit of the Spirit in our daily behavior: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. How much better would our world be if we who love Jesus were more focused on growing these nine qualities in ourselves than we were pointing out the lack of them in people who don’t love Jesus?

Our hope is not in government . . . or education . . . or money . . . or human ingenuity.  Our only hope is the Light of the World—Jesus Christ, our Savior.

As we celebrate His birth this week, let’s put our trust in Him alone. “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4

All of us here at Converge Coaching wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


P.S. Our team is taking off the week in-between Christmas and New Year’s Day, so both our blog and Leading From Alignment podcast will pause for a week as well. See you in the New Year!