Herod in Today’s World
Mat. 2:1-12, 16-18- (1) After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem (2) and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”(3) When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.(4) When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born.(5)“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: (6)“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”(7) Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. (8)He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”(9) After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.(10) When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. (11) On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. (12) And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route … (16) When Herod realized that the Magi had outwitted him, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. (17) Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: (18) “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
Herod obtained the kingdom by the shedding of blood. As a result, he was easily paranoid. The Star appearing signified that the foretold King of the Jews had been born. Therefore, Herod was extremely alarmed and enraged. Herod was overcome with fear that his reign would be challenged.
Herod began to inquire how he might secure his own safety and the permanency of his government. There were obviously many in Jerusalem to whom the coming of the Messiah would be a matter of joy, but Herod and his friends would doubtless be alarmed. Based on his desperation, Herod’s unjustified measures would be tragic.
In our society today we see an ever growing hostility towards the Truth. Drastic measures are being taken to eliminate Jesus around the world. Based on Matthew chapter 2, let’s examine Herod’s reactions and see how they apply to our society today via complimentary Scriptures.
#1. HEROD HATED THE TRUTH (Mat. 2:3-6).
- Also see John 3:19-21- This is the verdict. Light (Jesus) has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of Light.
- Also see John 15:18- Jesus said, if the world hates you, remember that it hated Me first.
- Also see 1 Cor. 1:18- The message of the cross is foolish to those who are perishing. But we who are saved know it is the very power of God.
#2. HEROD ONLY LOOKED OUT FOR HIMSELF (Mat. 2:7-12).
- Also see 2 Tim. 3:2- For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy.
#3. HEROD CHOSE RAGE OVER REASON (Mat. 2:16-18).
- Also see Mat. 16:25-26- Those who want to save their lives will lose them. But those who lose their lives for Me will find them. What good does it do if a man gains the whole world but loses his soul?
Rev. Jon Barrett | Director of CVCCS