Profiles of the Advent – Herod

“Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi.” – Matthew 2:16

It could be accurately stated that Herod may have been the original Grinch. Why was he so mean, nasty, and hateful? Was it his lust for power? Was it his own greed? Maybe Dr. Suess said it best: “It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right. It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. But I think that the most likely reason of all may have been that his heart was two sizes too small.”

From the Holy Bible, we do know that Herod reigned at the time of Christ. He learned of the birth of a baby whom the magi called “the King of the Jews.” This led Herod to believe that his throne was threatened, so he instructed the magi to let him know where the newborn child was located. When the magi never returned, Herod went ballistic and ordered all the baby boys under two years old to be murdered.

From history, we know that Herod was extremely ruthless and bloodthirsty. It is recorded that he murdered his favorite wife and son when his reign was threatened. The Jewish historian Josephus reported that Herod arranged for many Jewish nobles to be murdered upon his death in order to ensure that the land mourned his passing. Needless to say, Herod was way down on the bottom of many people’s Christmas card list!

If Christians are not careful, then we can become guilty of being like Herod or the Grinch, ourselves. We can get so caught up in the outside activities of life that we may neglect our primary calling: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” We are given new spiritual life in order that our witness will bear fruit of more souls who are won for Christ. In a world full of people who are spiritually dying and going to an eternal hell and lake of fire, we are guilty of murder, ourselves, if we withhold the message of so great a salvation.

What makes us so full of hate and animosity so as to refuse to proclaim the good news? Are we too timid or shy? Are we afraid that we may be mocked and ridiculed? Are our hearts “two sizes too small?” Maybe we need a renewed zeal and vigor, a vision of the tormented masses in the flames of hell to make our small hearts grow three sizes this day!

Let us resolve to be determined to spread the message of the gospel this Christmas season, and all through the year.

“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” – James 4:17


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