Summary: There are worldly kings trying to battle against the King of kings and His kingdom as demonstrated by Herod’s attempts to fight against the newborn king and His Kingdom. What can we learn from this battle between kings for our own lives today?
The King of kings
The Battle between kings
The purpose for the battle
Selfish ambition vs. Sacrificial atonement
The weapons of the battle
Military might vs. Heavenly Help
The results of the battle
Empty & False victory vs. Eternal & Fulfilling Victory
I always love seeing the kids when they sing songs at Christmas.
It reminds me of what fun it is to be a kid, especially in the winter when school is out.
I remember when I was a kid and we would have Christmas vacation and when there was snow on the ground we used to play outside for hours with our friends.
One of my friends lived across from a cul de sac and the snow plows would leave huge piles of snow in the middle of this cul de sac and we would play on that hill for days. We would build tunnels in parts of it and forts in other parts.
King of the Hill
One of the games we would play was called king of the hill. Basically it was who could stay on top of the mountain and fend off the attacks of others who wanted to be the king of the hill.
That kind of reminds me of the story we are reading today in Matthew 2:13-23 (p. 682)
In this account, Herod wants to knock off the newborn King of the Jews, the baby Jesus, because he doesn’t want anyone to threaten his power and authority, the thing in life that he lives for.
We will see in this story that Herod will go to any means to try and achieve his results. What he doesn’t realize however, is that he is not battling some worldly king. He is going up against the King of kings and his efforts for victory will be futile.
This morning, as we approach Christmas, I want to take a look at the battle between kings and some major differences that affect the outcome of this battle and examine who it is that we are choosing as our king in this life.
13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 "A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more."
19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead."
21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."
Last week we saw that the Magi asked King Herod, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." (Matthew 2:2)
I want you to imagine King Herod and what is going on in his mind.
He has been known as the King of the Jews
People were now coming to look for the one born King of the Jews?
This is a threat to his throne and his power.
He had killed others, including sons and a wife, when he suspected a threat to his throne or what he wanted. Was there now one who was born King?
Was someone out to take that which he had worked ruthlessly to attain?
We can see right from the beginning that King Herod’s authority and power would collide with anyone who was considered a threat to him.