Herod: The Villain of Christmas (Matt. 2:16-17)
The birth of Jesus Christ brought joy to the world and many people played different parts in the fulfillment of prophecies. So sad to read the part play by King Herod the Great. He was a king at this time in Jerusalem and he was approached by the Magi when they went looking for Jesus Christ.
The hostility against Jesus started right from his birth and this was led by Herod the Great. Herod pretended to the Magi that he also wanted to go and worship so they should let him know where the baby was but in reality he wanted to destroy him.
The Magi searched in order to worship the King but Herod was afraid and wanted him dead. Herod was cruel and would not permit anyone to usurp him as King. He was a ruthless murderer who had his wife and his two brothers slain because he suspected them of treason.
Herod alone wanted to bear the title "King of the Jews".
Herod was a king we would rather love to miss or omit in the Christmas story. The part that Herod played was to deceive the wise men and act out his desire to destroy Christ. He was troubled by the question "where is he who has been born King of the Jews?" He was afraid he will lose control; he was afraid Christ would become king. He was troubled and the Bible says all Jerusalem with him.
We could see the temper of a troubled man who ordered that children of 2 years and under should be murdered. While angels sang with joy on the birth of Christ; mothers were weeping over the death of their sons because of the wickedness of Herod the King. We noticed that Herod's anger was an evidence of his pride. The wanton murder of the boys was the fulfillment of Jeremiah 31:15.
The birth of Jesus brought peace but there was no peace in the life and house of Herod. He was so troubled by the fear of losing his position and his authority that he did everything he thought was right in keeping his position. He could neither rejoice at the birth of the King nor come to terms with the reality of another king.
This incident is a sour part in the Christmas story.
As we look at Herod and the part he played in the Christmas story, we need to ask ourselves a few questions:
What part do you play in the lives of people? Do you make them happy when they encounter you?
Do you rejoice with them or bring them pain?
What difference would you make in the lives of people this time?
Christmas is a season of joy, let none of us be like Herod who added to the pains of people during the season of rejoicing.
Be a source of hope and joy and not pain