“But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’” (Luke 19:14)
There are innumerable aspects of the coming of The Child that are, in a word, astounding. Perhaps none more so than the bewildering fact that those who were His own people, the Jews, “received Him not.”
And it’s not just that they did not receive Him — no, they rejected Him. And did so with much hatred.
Who could hate a nobleman of such impeccable character, grand generosity, expanding estate, and international renown? “His citizens hated him,” the text reads, “and they sent an messenger after him saying, ‘We will not have this man reign over us!’”
And, who would deliver such a message to the King? Who would have the gall and the access to stroll into His royal presence carrying such an incendiary message? Who else but The Serpent.
It has always intrigued me that his citizens hated him. Hated him so much in fact that they sent notice while he was away that they had no intention of submitting to his rule upon his return. What did he do to upset them so? What was the justification for their insolence and revolt?
The truth is there was no justification for their hatred. Nor did he do anything that merited their rebellious disdain. The story Jesus told us records their complaint, as voiced by one person — “I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’ (Luke 19:21 NIV)
This is not the truth; Jesus is not at all like this. But evidently there was enough evidence to convince people that it was true; that the King was hard and unfair. My belief is that someone who came from the Palace had acted in the King’s name, doing these dreadful things. And who else could it have been but the Prince of Darkness — The Serpent?
For the record – The Serpent is a Taker; God is a Giver. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). Jesus said that the Devil was “a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44), and that he, as a Thief, came only “to steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10).
He takes one’s life and trashes it. He takes their identity and perverts it. He takes their gifts and talents and wastes them in trivial pursuit of short-lived fame and glory; ultimately bringing their lives to ruin and destruction. The tragic life and death of many a celebrity demonstrates this; and they are but a handful of the millions who have suffered in the grasping, suffocating clutch of the coiling Serpent.
It might be worth your time to examine where you come out on this great dividing line – are you a Taker, or a Giver? There is much riding on your answer.
The Serpent takes, and convinces men to blame God for doing it. And in their anger, fear, and ignorance – they reject God from their lives.
We will take a closer look at this tomorrow.