When we think of the Christmas story, probably the first character that comes to mind in the story is King Herod, right? No? Honestly, that’s not likely to be anyone’s first answer, however King Herod does have some important lessons to teach us. King Herod was the evil protagonist in the beautiful nativity story. He was the one who wanted to kill the baby, and who tried to coerce the Magi into revealing the location of the family. His evil intentions were foiled by the angels, who turned the Magi away from returning to Herod with the news of the baby’s location. Herod was a king of single-minded focus. It was his way or death, in many cases. He was set in his own importance and was determined to let nothing and no one take his position – king over the Jews – away from him. The news that there was a new Messiah, a NEW King of the Jews being proclaimed, was VERY troubling to him, and he began plotting this baby’s demise. He had his eyes FIRMLY set on the prize. The wise men, however, had their eyes firmly set on the star. They were traveling to meet the Messiah, and they let nothing, not even the lack of the child’s location, get in their way. They were seeking the Messiah with all of their hearts.
How often do we meet people who turn their eyes away from Jesus? So many today are troubled by or indifferent to the meaning of Christmas. Nativity scenes have been removed from display. God and Christmas cannot be discussed in the public schools. No one feels comfortable greeting others with ‘Merry Christmas.’ We’ve become a ‘Herod’ society, rather than one that follows the example of the ‘Magi,’ who followed the STAR with a single minded purpose. Jeremiah said when you seek me, you will be on the right road. So this Christmas season, ask the right questions. Follow the star. Diligently search for Jesus, and you will stay on the path that leads to the Messiah.
Based on Matthew 2:1-12.