Today is Part Three in my “King of the Mountain” series. The overarching idea here is that too often we try to elevate ourselves to positions of authority and influence at the expense of other people. Today, we will be looking at and contrasting a couple of people from the story of the first Christmas found in the Bible Book of Luke. We’ll be talking about King Herod, the maniacal and paranoid king of Judea, and Jesus, the “…King of kings…” (Revelation 17:14, NIV) and the Savior of the world.
First, let’s discuss Herod. Known throughout history as Herod the Great for his notable accomplishments in building and running an empire, Herod is also known for the murders of those he viewed as a threat to his kingdom. In fact, Herod killed several family members, including his wife, in a desperate attempt to maintain his status as king. One of Herod’s greatest assaults on humanity was his order to have hundreds of babies put to death throughout the region. You see, Herod had caught news of the birth of the baby named Jesus, the newborn king in Bethlehem, and feared that Jesus would usurp his authority. Imagine being so paranoid that a toddler would take over your dynasty, that you would massacre innocent children in an attempt to eliminate Jesus! Herod would not succeed, however, and the Holy Family would make their escape to Egypt.
Jesus, in fact, would someday become “King”, but his kingship would be quite different than that of Herod’s. Jesus promoted peace, not violence, and mercy over justice. Rather than elevating himself, Jesus chose humility. And, instead of condemning others, Jesus chose to show them compassion. Jesus even went so far as to die on a cross, forgiving even those who placed him there.
We’ll learn more about King Jesus in my next post. Stay tuned for Part 4 tomorrow. Thanks, as always, for reading!