The King of Christmas and Herod
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.
Luke 1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of
Now Matthew 2.1. Notice the same words each time:
Matthew 2:1 Now after Jesus was born in
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.
Let’s 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
The other king was baby…his name is 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 the intriguing and very powerful message of Christmas. Let pause and read the story again in Matthew 2:1-23 and meet the King of Christmas—and Herod.
Matthew 2:1-23 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, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all
By bringing Jesus and King Herod together at the same time in history, God reveals that He uses what seems to be unimportant to accomplish His eternal purposes. He uses those 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 greatest. Only what is done for God will last; only His kingdom is eternal; life lived for self always perishes. Enduring legacy comes only by self-sacrifice and servanthood, not through self-seeking. That simple lesson Herod never learned!
1 Corinthians 1:26-27 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
2 Corinthians 12:9a And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
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