It was quite a sight to see three magi entering Jerusalem, with but one purpose: “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matt 2:2, NIV2)
Everyone in Jerusalem were puzzled. A newborn king? What are they talking about? Everyone in Jerusalem, and especially King Herod, was disturbed by this news. King Herod asked where the Messiah would be born. The Bible scholars answered without any doubt: “‘In Bethlehem in Judea,’ they replied, ‘for this is what the prophet has written: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'” (Matt 2:5-6, NIV2)
King Herod secretly met with these magi, trying to find out when they saw that star in heaven. He seemed genuine and interested. He had but one request for them: “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” (Matt 2:8, NIV2) However, his intentions were far from doing what was good in the eyes of the Lord. He wanted to kill that newborn king. He didn’t want any competition.
The magi never came back to Jerusalem, for someone Higher than King Herod was guiding them: “And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.” (Matt 2:12, NIV2) His murderous intentions were checkmated by the Almighty King of the universe. After all, our Heavenly Father is in control. Instead of ending in tribulation, it all ended up in jubilation!
Admiral Wilhelm Canary also lived in tumultuous times. Unlike King Herod, he wanted to save people persecuted by the Nazis. Being the chief of the German Intelligence during World War II, his goal was not to support Hitler, but to defeat Nazism. He had in his possession damaging evidence against Himmler, and thus, Himmler had no choice but to protect him.
Just like the magi disobeyed Herod, Canaris would do anything to oppose Hitler. He saved hundreds of Jews, even preventing the killing of captured French officers in Tunisia.
His best friends were his dogs and his horse. Once he said to an officer named Schellenberg: “My dogs will never betray me. I can’t say that of human beings.”
He even plotted against Hitler and eventually he was arrested and hanged.
To the hundreds of Jews and French officers in Tunisia that he saved, however, he was a hero. He could have hurt the Allies big time; but instead, he wanted this despotism in Germany to end so that the people woukd be freed from hardship.
Herod was a murderer; Canaris by contrast, wanted to save people. Are we willing to save people as well? There are so many among us who don’t even know the liberating message from this new born King, born in Bethlehem. Are we willing to share with them? There is no better opportunity than during this Christmas season.
(To access the entire “Amidst Tribulation, Jubilation!” devotional series, please click here.)