God's character is publicly slandered because of man's choices: “If God is good, why is the world so bad?”
Scripture: Matthew 2
- Herod was a usurper king (not of David’s line) who oppressed the people and murdered his opponents.
- The Magi knew of the rising Star of Numbers 24:17 and of the coming Ruler of Genesis 49:10. God used their astrological observations and beliefs to guide them to worship Jesus.
- The Magi were not simply idle inquirers; they brought gifts to worship Jesus, recognizing Jesus as king of the nations.
- We need to accept the story of Jesus’ birth as real history, and embrace its implications for our lives (cf. Psalm 2).
- Like Moses’ deliverance from Pharaoh’s edict to kill all male babies, so Jesus was delivered from Herod’s genocide.
- Herod’s madness shows us that we can understand intellectually what pertains to God, but to be unable to do what pertains to God.
- Herod was not simply angry; he was seeking to prevent God’s plan by murdering the Messiah King of prophecy.
- In his madness Herod was acting out a demonic plan to prevent the emblem of Jesus’ victory: the cross. Had Herod succeeded, there would be no salvation.
- Satan sought to destroy Jesus, knowing that Jesus possessed this world from top to bottom.
- We cannot resist the purpose of God (Proverbs 21:30).
- Hypocritically, Herod feigned intent to worship Jesus.
- Likewise, our rebellion against God can come in the form of religion, while in our hearts we hate Christ.
- Any church that does not make known the kingship of Christ is of the church of Herod.
- Herod desired to murder; the Magi desired to worship.
- It is possible for us to say we want to worship, but have a heart that is hostile to Christ’s kingship and salvation.
- A church which will not make known the Lordship, Kingship and incarnation of Christ is not a true church.
- Herod was not troubled by a mere sage/teacher; he felt threatened because Jesus was to be Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
- When Jesus does battle with our sin and rebellion, it is irritating. We do not want to be reminded that Jesus is the King of the nations who brings peace and salvation and demands our allegiance.
- Jesus being raised up as Lord of the nations includes His right to reign and rule over everything.
- What God has written is written; His Word stands.
- Do not mourn at the loss of your autonomy; we should rejoice at Christ’s salvation making us friends of God.
- If we are wise, we too will seek the King: the star we are to follow is the preaching of the gospel of the King.
- With the wise and prudent, let us bow and worship Him.
- What was Herod’s character and religious viewpoint?
- How and why did foreign Magi come to seek the Jewish Messiah-King?
- Does the message of Christ make us afraid? Why?
- Have we been religious persons, feigning worship, but refusing to truly submit to Christ in our hearts?
- Are we aware of our own desire to rule our own lives in a way that is contrary to the gospel?
- Have we been asleep in unbelief concerning Christ? Do we prefer slavery to our sins over Christ’s kingship?
- Do we accept that Jesus was a good man, but deny Him His divine title?
- What is the prudent response when faced with the advent of the King?