12 Christmas Characters: Herod

Welcome! In light of the holiday season, I wanted to share the Christmas story, but I didn't want to look at in the traditional way. Christmas isn't about Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus, or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, it is about the birth of Jesus. By Christmas Eve, I will focus on 12 people surrounding Jesus' birth and their role in the story. I welcome your thoughts and hope to express why I love Christmas so much.

Herod was the king of Judea. Three wise men came to visit him to ask where they could find the baby who had been born. You see, when Jesus was a born, a special star shone in the sky. The wise men were star watchers and noticed the new star.

After they asked Herod where the baby was, he gathered all of the chief priests and teachers of the Law together to ask where the Messiah would be born. They answered and quoted Isaiah, the prophet: he would be born in Bethlehem, part of the land of Judea. Herod dismissed the priests and teachers. Secretly, Herod asked the wise men to come back after they found Jesus and tell him where he was. He told them he wanted to worship Jesus too. 

The wise men (we'll look at them next week) were warned in a dream to not go back to Herod. Instead, they went home a different way. When Herod found they left without returning to him, he was incredibly angry. He ordered all boys in Bethlehem, under the age of 2, to be killed.

Herod's plan of killing all the baby boys was so that he could kill the Messiah. Herod's response to Jesus was fear. He was afraid Jesus would someday overthrow his kingdom and rule. Thankfully the wise men did not go back to Herod. This made me wonder if there are any areas of my life where I am fearful and how might that fear effect others around me?

See Matthew 2 for more details on King Herod.