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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Dec. 4, 2009

  • 2009 Dec 04

Which King Do You Follow?


I am amazed every time I walk over the old ground of the Word—there are fresh new truths. This week as I poured over the story of Christmas, that was the result.

The Christmas Story comes to us from the God of Heaven. He wrote it down in the Scriptures through His Apostles. Only God captured this event and transmits it to us flawlessly—so we get exactly what He wants us to know.

Have you noticed what is first in God's story of Christmas? If you look closely, the Christmas Story we all love begins each time it was written in God's Word—with the same seven words. Have you pondered them?

Open with me to Luke 1.5 and follow along.

Luke 1:5  "There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth."

Now turn to Matthew 2:1   Notice the same words each time:

Matthew 2:1  "Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem"

It is interesting that God's Word describes the life of one of the greatest thinkers, builders, and rulers of all time, Herod, as "in the days…." What a sobering perspective. All of our earthly existence can be reduced to "days". We spring up, flourish, flower, wither, and are gone in a matter of days—from God's perspective! Christmas is a time for us to soberly reassess our lives, to refocus our hearts, and to remember just what life is all about.

This Christmas season we are going to examine Christ's coming from the perspective of Him as KING. Today we will look at the life of Herod and contrast his life to Christ's. The Bible presents us with two kings. One acted like a king, looked like a king, lived like a king, and died like a king. The other did not. The other King was by all appearances poor, weak, fragile, powerless, unknown, and insignificant. Few ever realized that He was a King.

The 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.  

So we need to learn and heed the powerful lessons from the first words of the story of Christmas - the colossal failure of Herod's life.  The lesson of the tragic life of Herod shows that Herod gained the whole world but lost his own soul.

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