Herod vs. Jesus Christ: The Political & the Providential

During my quiet time with the Father this morning, I heard Him direct me to Matthew chapter two. As I began to read, listen, watch and ask I wondered if “Herod” was a name or a title. The reason is that verses one and three both write “Herod the King.” In this case, King was the title so I figured that Herod was a name. References in verses 7, 12, 13, 14, 16, 19 and 22 did nothing to change that perception.

Verse 22 also mentions for the first time Herod’s son by the name of Archelaus. When I googled his name I found out it refers to him being a king over several areas as well, and this was confirmed in my reference and study books. However, in the etymology of the name Herod we find that he was a Roman political figure who was appointed to rule over a class or tribe of people- in this case, the Jews. He, politically, professionally and practically was actually known as ‘The King of the Jews.”

Knowing and understanding this now, we can better understand why verse three says, “When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him…” Heard what? That the wise men who had come to Jerusalem to worship the newborn, incarnate God asked, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” Herod was disturbed because this was a direct threat to his authority, position, influence and livelihood. The Jews were concerned, perhaps, because they were only cultural Jews who had no heart for God and because they feared a not-so-distant change in the leadership that would bring unknown, uncertain and unwelcome change to their day-to-day lives.

So here we have two men laying claim to the title “King of the Jews.” One received the title by the Roman Empire here on earth; the other received the title by Almighty God, and from everlasting to everlasting. One is a false claim and one is a true claim. One was a temporary claim and one is an eternal claim. One didn’t care at all for the people he had charge over. The other cared so much for them that He laid down His life willingly for them, and then took it up again. So why is it that a people would later rather have a murderer released to them and wish for the King to be crucified? Is it because this King, in His mercy and love and forgiveness and reconciliation, requires something of those He rules over? Is it because we would rather live our lives under government authority no matter how harsh, oppressive or unjust the laws as long as we can have the “freedom” to sin? Remember the Lord’s omniscient judgment stated in John 3:19, “The Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light because their deeds were evil.”

Those of us who are believers (but not Jewish, unless Messianic) must remember that we have been “grafted in” (see Romans 11:11-31). We received salvation because of God’s kindness and Israel’s unbelief. We have exercised our freedom to choose. We have chosen Jesus and refused Barabbas. We have submitted ourselves to the eternal lordship of Jesus Christ, rather than the temporal and limited authority of Herod. Herod’s tomb does not read “The King of the Jews,” but Christ’s cross does! What the chief priests argued about and what Pilate dismissed as trivial, God Almighty revealed and let stand as truth.

If we are believers, under what circumstances did we profess Christ? What did we understand His Gospel to mean? Did we simply agree to a set of rules and beliefs or, perhaps, even agree to live by them? Or did we make Him our Lord, our personal King—because that is what it truly means to be Christian. God’s Word refers to Him as Lord, Master, Rabbi (teacher). These designations all carry in them the implicit and presumptive characteristic of authority. And if you claim to believe in God apart from Jesus Christ, and trust in that for your entrance into the kingdom of Heaven, the Word says, “All authority in Heaven and earth has been given to Me (Jesus).” And again, “The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father.” Without Him there is no way to the Father, for God has given no other way to man by which he may be saved. Hallelujah to the true “King of the Jews!”

Therefore, no Republican or Democrat, no Trump or Cruz or Clinton or Sanders, and no Obama are King. We must put our trust in no man. No career politician today or in Herod’s time, and no “outsider” or “non-establishment” person can even begin to rule a nation and its people, especially without Almighty God. Our nation is where it is and where it is worse headed because we trust, follow, elect and place ourselves under a modern-day Herod. We must serve, submit to and obey the past, present, future and eternal King—the LORD Jesus Christ. Please, please read John 3:16-18. God bless you as you seek Him with ALL your hearts.

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