Where’s the line to see Jesus?”a little boy asks in this song a friend of mine linked in an email.
It’s a question a boy might have asked two thousand years ago in Bethlehem, as well.
Angels appeared to shepherds, and those shepherds left their flocks to go see the phenomenon the heavenly messengers announced: a baby, wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger (not an ordinary sight)–a Savior born to them! Joy unspeakable!
But we don’t read of crowds following, or even gathering around with them in their worship–only of the crowds being astounded. Did the shepherds keep the good news to themseselves? Not so. Luke 2:17 says they made it known–and most texts say “widely.”
Meanwhile, somewhere in the East, a strange star appeared to some Magi, and they began trekking to see the King whose birth they knew it announced. Following the star’s leading, they arrived in Jerusalem, where they asked for more specifics on where to find “him who is born King of the Jews” (a lot like the little boy at the mall in the song). Even though they made the mistake of inquiring of the jealous king then reigning there, he did call the scripture scholars of the time, who indeed were able to point out where the holy scrolls prophesied this King would be born. But, again, did any of these scribes go to Bethlehem to see and worship Him themselves? The Bible gives no record of that happening.
As for Jerusalem’s general populace, instead of making a worshipful scramble to Bethlehem to see this wonder,”all of Jerusalem” was troubled, along with King Herod, over this news of a (competing) newborn king (Matthew 2:3). Whatever the reason, it doesn’t appear that any long line of people wove through Bethlehem, seeking to see and worship Jesus, back in the time of His fleshly appearance, any more than today.
Let’s just be sure we line ourselves up–especially our hearts–to “see Jesus” in the holiday, in the season, this year.