• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Samuel A CainNow after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, (Matthew 2:1-5 ESV)

In Matthew’s second chapter, we see that Jesus’ birth creates a conflict about who is King. It was in the time period of the reign of Herod the Great. Herod endowed his realm with massive fortresses and splendid cities, as well as a new Temple.

Herod the Great also used his office to glorify himself. He considered himself to be the protector of Israel from the gentiles. He believed the key to saving Israel was through politics and absolute rule. Many people today still believe in the government as savior. The true savior, however, willingly dies upon the cross to reconcile us to God. Herod gives glory to himself. Jesus gives all the glory to God.

This perspective of the Christmas story is about two kings. One king is Herod the Great. The other king is a tiny child born in Bethlehem. He was born in a stable. Yet, He is declared to be the “King of kings” and the “Lord of lords”. (Revelation 17:14)

Consider what has become of these two kings. Herod the Great is dead and his rule is over. Conversely, Jesus is alive and well; sitting at the right hand of God. The Bethlehem child rules “over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:33 ESV) Men love to play God, but it is Jesus Christ who reigns. This Christmas is a good time to ask yourself, “Who is sitting on the throne of my life?” Herod is dead, but he is a good metaphor for the secular life. Men are often ruled by their love for this world or some aspect of it. This is why Herod slaughtered the children of Bethlehem. (Matthew 2:16-18 ESV) Herod was willing to murder the true King in order to maintain his rule and lifestyle.

Just as a man cannot serve two masters (Luke 16:13, ESV), Christ will not share His throne. Do not let another Christmas pass you by without praying, repenting, and asking Jesus to dwell in your heart and sit on the throne of your life. Then you will know the true joy of Christmas through the gift of your salvation.


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