Mad Men and Apathy: The Plans and Purposes of God

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 | 6 comments

Mad Men and Apathy: The Plans and Purposes of God

Christmas demands people to make a decision, even if they don’t realize it. For 2000 years, Jesus Christ has inspired the obsession of mad men and apathy of both the ignorant and educated. The Bible gives strong examples of both in the behavior of King Herod and the apathy of the religious leaders and innkeeper. What will you choose to do with Jesus this Christmas? I would love to hear your comments!


2MefromHim Devotionals

Mad Men and Apathy

He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. John 1:11

The problem with Christmas is that you have to do something with it. It has endured because its importance cannot be ignored. Most people do not recognize the coming of the Christ Child at Christmas as much as they do voracious greed and self-indulgence. Things have not changed much in the last 2,000 years, although the choices remain the same: either accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God or reject Him.

The story of the first Christmas recounts both mad men and apathy. Both have their consequences. Why would the coming of a tiny baby into the world inspire such a variety of responses? Both shepherds and wise men, groups from opposite ends of the spectrum worshiped Jesus, but others either plotted evil or ignored.

King Herod the Great, generally thought to have been mad, killed all the baby boys under the age of two after hearing about the birth of Jesus from the Magi. The unrest created among the Jews by Roman rule was used to advance Herod’s own ambitions. He killed so many of his own wives and sons that Emperor Augustus reportedly quipped, “It is better to be Herod’s pig than son.” Because Jesus was a king, Herod thought He was a threat to his throne and political hopes. Herod was mad, and only mad men seek to destroy what can save them.

The same madness exists today. A recent YouTube video shows Muslims in Iraqi Kurdistan tearing down a Christmas tree in a shopping mall: Herod sought to kill his perceived enemy and the Jewish religious leaders ignored the obvious fulfillment of prophesies and quietly assented. These groups have killed and beheaded unknown numbers of Christians in recent years. The baby born in a stable 2000 years ago is still a threat to those with their own agendas. Choosing to follow mad men has dire consequences.

Most are familiar with the story of Joseph searching through Bethlehem for a room while Mary, already in labor, sat on the donkey. Can you imagine her pain and the fear in Joseph’s heart, as he looked in vain for a place suitable birthplace of the Son of God? Little is known of the innkeeper who turned them away. He was not a mad man, but a harried businessman who cared nothing about a poor couple and their child. He chose indifference and is maligned by history and judged by God because of it. Apathy regarding Jesus Christ leads to no better outcome than unbelief, offense, or madness.

The average person today is either ignorant or apathetic about the birth of Christ when it relates to Christmas, but apathy neither is an acceptable excuse when it comes to Jesus. Tradition says that gift giving commemorates the gifts of the Magi and the gift of God’s Son to the world, but such thoughts are ludicrous when compared to the shopping frenzy over much of the world. Take for example, this Watter’s World Christmas Quiz: Ignorance and greed are perhaps the most common response to Christmas in our world today, but it is not an acceptable excuse to God.

None of these responses are justifiable in light of the overwhelming biblical and historical evidence that Jesus was exactly who He claimed to be. In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis says, “You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.”

Our only choices are to believe or disbelieve. In John 8:24, Jesus stated, “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am He, you will indeed die in your sins.” The Babe of Bethlehem requires us to make a choice. We accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God like the shepherds and Magi, or allow our own agendas to cause us to risk eternity in hell like Herod the mad man and the apathetic innkeeper. Both reject the saving grace of Christ and lead to the consequence of eternal judgment.

Jesus Christ demands that we decide what we believe about Him. The choice is up to us, but He has the right to choose the consequences.

© Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman, December 6, 2016

About the Author:

Norma Gail is the author of the contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, winner of the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 40 years. They have two adult children.

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  1. what an excellent summary and testimony! You defined the ongoing story and apathy beautifully!

    • Thank you so much! I appreciate the feedback. The subject was a little heavy, but sometimes there is too much fluff with Christmas blogs. I appreciate you stopping by!

  2. There is definitely no middle ground with God… “either accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God or reject Him.” “Believe or disbelieve…” I would add… obey or ignore, and as His child, my prayer is that I will continue to obey no matter how hard it seems at times. Thanks for writing this thought provoking message, NormaGail!

    • You are so welcome! Thank you for taking time to read and leave s comment!

  3. There really is no more important choice to make in this life.

    • Absolutely! Thanks for stopping by, Christina!

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