4And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
One of the most famous passages in Scripture, and the center or hinge of Matthew’s gospel comes when Jesus asks His disciples: “Who do you say that I am?” Peter responded with the good confession given from above: “Thou art the Christ; the Son of the Living God” (Mt 16:13-17). “Christ” means “anointed one.” The Christ was the long-expected ruler/deliverer of Israel. We learn from Colossians 2 that in Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” The Father loves to hide things for His children to find and bring forth with delight, and so the concept of the Christ is deep and wide. Jesus often was met with a partial, incomplete, or distorted view of who and what the Christ would be. Matthew records Peter’s rebuking of Jesus right after the good confession; Peter couldn’t fathom that the long-awaited Christ would suffer and be put to death.
In Matthew 2, the wise men have just come looking for the newborn king; the Christ is king! The scribes and chief priests told Herod that this king would be born in Bethlehem, and that He would be a shepherd king. He would lead His people out of darkness and into His marvelous light. He would not only lead them beside still waters, He would give them living water to thirst no more. He was from Bethlehem “the house of bread,” the true Manna from heaven who gave Himself for the life of the world. This king would be The Good Shepherd, unlike Herod the hireling. This king would not slaughter the children, but would be slaughtered for them; for us. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
—Pastor Mike Ferguson, Providence Reformed Evangelical Church, Grand Junction, Colorado
Our gracious heavenly Father, You have hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Christ; and You have hidden the wonders of the world’s salvation in Him as well. Continue to reveal the Christ to us, through the word, and as You remake us in His image. And let us continue to reveal Him in the world. In Christ’s name we pray, AMEN.
The Christ would be a king, a shepherd, a warrior, a defender and deliverer, a friend, an advocate, a servant, a helper, a healer, bread and wine, life and peace, and much more. But hidden in the treasure was the Father’s call to be a suffering sacrifice. Can you add anything to the list? Consider each of these aspects of “The Christ” and then consider how suffering and sacrifice add glory and treasure; i.e. Suffering King, sacrificial shepherd, etc.