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How Was Jesus NOT Herod’s King?

January 30, 2012

The story of Matthew 2 is a familiar one for most of us. In Matthew 1, Jesus is born to Mary and Joseph and when word reaches King Herod he is not happy in the least. You see, he was king of the Roman empire at the time and any threat to his power from another king would have been detrimental to his reign. He knew his Old Testament too and heard the prophets call Jesus, “the son of David.” He knew Jesus was a king and was scared of the potential threat. The point of stories such as the one of Herod for the modern church is not to read and say, “Boy, that Herod sure was one messed up guy.” Rather, our posture should be to say, “I am Herod.” You and I are like Herod in that we all want to be our own king. We are enamored with individualism and the notion that another could (and should) rule our lives is something worthy of outcry. “Nobody can tell me what to do,” is the typical, often unspoken, operating system of American Christians. Rare is the person who was like a wise man…traveling 900 miles simply to bring gifts and worship Jesus. Plenty is the man who resists the reign and rule of God in their life. I think there are at least three ways that Jesus was not Herod’s king. Maybe some of us can see ourselves in one of these pictures.

  • Matthew 2:3a – “When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled…” Herod was immediately deflated when he heard of the birth of Jesus. How many of us go dim when Jesus enters the picture? Conversation goes flat, enthusiasm dies, and we feel withdrawn. Why is this so? We can be on top of the world when speaking of college football, but when the king of the universe is spoken of…we lack for words and our comfort level plummets.
  • Matthew 2:3b – “…and all of Jerusalem with him.” Herod not only had personal troubles with Jesus as his king, but he took others with him. None of us reading this blog may literally tell people about our doubts of Jesus being our king. But, how often we display this truth to other people! By our actions of what we treasure, we show people the kings in our life (our kid’s success, new cars, our reputation at work) and can functionally point them away from Jesus. Love the Lord! Show people your undying affection for the King of Kings.
  • Matthew 2:8 – “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” What a bunch of bologna! Herod did not want to worship Jesus. Now, most of us are not royalty and may not have had the same motives as Herod. However, many of us say we worship Jesus, but functionally are about as far from worship as we could be. Is church a routine for you? Is it an add on at the end of the week? Is it a chore? Be honest. It is for me sometimes…and I work at a church. Worship of Jesus as our king should be the center of our week, the thing everything else is built on. Schedule you life around your church and worship schedule, not the other way around. Worship is not an extra, it is essential. Do not talk the talk and not walk the walk. There is nothing God dislikes more than a lukewarm Christian…which is really no Christian at all.
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