Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: We are to worship not fear Christ

Many Are Afraid and what we see in Herod’s Fear

Jesus is to be “feared” and esteemed, but we should never be afraid of Him or the change He wants to bring in our lives and to our world.

Fear could be given as F-False, E-Evidence, A-Appearing, R-Real.

Matthew 2:1-18

What are you afraid of? Who is it that you are afraid of? Many of us are afraid of our past. We fear that some of our past will be made known publicly. Who wants to know that I was thumb sucker or that I did not like Broccoli or that I stole a pencil when I was in high school? I also was convicted years later as I was in prayer that I needed to return to the place I had stolen that pencil and pay for it. I had to travel many miles to do that and I was not thanked for being honest. My conscious was clear.

How many of us struggle with circumstances and events in the unknown future? Many are trapped by these on a daily basis. We some times play a game “What would happen if?” I lost my job; my health went bad, I lost some one I loved or if my church closed.

How many of listen to the news and find there apparently that there is much more to fear than to feel safe about in our world these days.

Is there any one you have met who is afraid of Jesus? Do you think it is because they never understood who He is or why He came to this earth to begin with? Some might believe that if Jesus gets close to them or if they get close to Jesus, their entire life will be wrecked. One of the reasons I believe that this is because we are not always the best witnesses for the good Jesus does in a person’s life. Some are confused about the change and joy Jesus brings into a person’s life. Herod was afraid of Jesus because he knew a new king was around and He was THE KING. Just think with me that if Herod Instead of plotting to kill the Christ Child, He would have asked a few questions about who Jesus is and why he was born.

1. he could have asked about the background into which Jesus was Born.

Herod, the king of the Jews was in Jerusalem in Judea and was in the seat of government.

He had some Kings from the east who come to worship the “newborn King.” Herod thought he was already the king. While many Herods are mentioned in the Bible, this was Herod the Great, named king over all four political districts of Palestine by the Roman Senate. He ruled from 37 to 4 B.C. Jesus did not start His ministry until he was 30 and this Herod would have died before that time. In The history of the Herod family we find it is filled with lies, murder, deceit and adultery. Herod the Great was a cruel, evil man who murdered many in his own family. We also know he also managed the repair of the temple, making it much larger and more beautiful, as well as overseeing many other building projects in Jerusalem. This made him extremely popular with the Jews. After Herod’s death, the districts were divided among three separate rulers. We later read about Herod the Great’s son, Herod Antipas, was the one who killed John the Baptist (Mark 6:26-28) and badgered Jesus (Luke 23:6-12).

Herod and Jerusalem were troubled by the search for this “new” King. We see that Herod was troubled for several reasons: Herod was not the rightful heir to the throne of David. He was partly Jewish, but descended from Esau, not from Jacob’s line.

Herod was not all the people thought he was. His ethnicity was Arab, but he considered himself Jewish by religion.

He reigned by appointment from Rome. If this baby was a rightful heir to the throne of Israel, Herod could face trouble from the Jews who might want to declare this baby truly their new king.

Herod was ruthless. Many think he was mentally disturbed by this point in his life. He was obviously doubting that someone was trying to overthrow him.

Herod may not have wanted the Jews to unite around a religious figure. The wise men said they were coming to worship this newborn king of the Jews. Herod knew the last thing he needed was for the Jewish nation to be led by a disloyal religious leader.

If these wise men were of Jewish descent and from Parthia (the most powerful region next to Rome), they would have welcomed a Jewish king who could swing the balance of power away from Rome. The land of Israel, far from Rome, would have been easy prey for a nation trying to gain more control. “When King Herod and all Jerusalem heard about this, they became disturbed. He called together all the chief priests and scribes and tried to find out from them where the Messiah was supposed to be born. Then Herod secretly called the wise men and found out from them exactly when the star had appeared. As he sent them to Bethlehem, he said, "Go and search carefully for the child. When you have found him, report to me so that I may go and worship him too." We see that Herod wanted to know about Jesus and it seems he wanted to worship him. We find out that he feared the new king and yet history shows that he did not even live to hear Jesus preach.

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