A Tale of Two Kings
Christ's birth was the day in history when the two most absolutely opposite kings confronted one another for the first time. One was the ultimate earthly king. He sat that day at the pinnacle of power. His name was Herod the Great, descendent of Esau or (as the New Testament had it) an Idumean. Herod lived for Herod. He would soon slaughter the babies of Bethlehem in his desire to exterminate Christ. The theme of his life was: "What will it profit me?"
The other king was baby Jesus. He was the King of Kings, Creator of the Universe. He was the natural heir to David's throne. He was the supreme King over all the kings of this earth. But He did not look like a king, wrapped in humble clothing. He would live to be rejected.
At the height of His ministry He would die a criminal's death. Had he wanted to, Jesus could have called forth legions of angels who would have vindicated His cause instantly and have swept the usurper Herod from the throne. But Jesus did not want the throne in that way. He did not want the throne until you and I could share it with Him. To make that possible He died.
That dramatic moment in history is found in Matthew 2. Of all those chapters in God's Word there are four that detail the Birth of Jesus. They are Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2. From these chapters comes an intriguing and very powerful cast of characters.
Insecure Herod, the earthly minded, WANTED TO BE THE ONLY KING. HE DID NOT WANT Jesus. Matthew 2:1 "After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem" (NIV)
By bringing Jesus and King Herod together at the same time in history, God reveals that He uses what seems to be weak to accomplish His purposes. He uses people who appear to be weak to triumph over those who appear to be strong. Although Herod's power seemed overwhelming and undefeatable, God's power was stronger still. What is done for God and His kingdom has lasting value, as opposed to what we do to obtain honor for ourselves. We create a lasting legacy through self-sacrifice and servanthood, not through self-glorification.
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