Summary: There have always been those who hated Christmas: the Grinches and the Ebenezer Scrouges; the Bertrand Russels and the Richard Dawkins; but the original Grinch, who lived in the days of the Lord Jesus, was King Herod. He really tried to get rid of Christmas!
THE ORIGINAL GRINCH
Mt. 2:1-8, 16-18
GRINCH SONG: “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” 2:03
A. HUMOR: “Missing Jesus”
1. It was the day after Christmas at a church in San Francisco. Pastor Mike was looking at the nativity scene outside when he noticed the baby Jesus was missing from the figures/display.
2. Immediately, he turned towards the church to call the police. But as he was about to do so, he saw little Jimmy with a red wagon, and in the wagon was the figure of the little infant, Jesus.
3. Pastor Mike walked up to Jimmy and said, "Well, Jimmy, where did you get the baby Jesus?" Jimmy replied, "I got him from the church." "And why did you take him?"
4. With a sheepish smile, Jimmy said, "Well, about a week before Christmas I prayed to little Lord Jesus. I told him if he would bring me a red wagon for Christmas, I would give him a ride around the block in it."
B. STORY: THE GRINCH WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS
1. Most of us know the Dr. Seuss story of the green, wrinkled-up little creature who lived on a mountain above Whoville and had a terrible disposition.
2. He despised the Whoville’s happiness and celebrations.
3. One year he decided to stop their celebration of Christmas. To do this he…
a. snuck down the mountain & stole all the Christmas gifts;
b. …the Christmas trees and food; ornaments and lights;
c. He wiped out all signs of Christmas!
4. But he failed to stop the little people from celebrating. They sang anyway.
C. THE GRINCH IS ALIVE AND WELL TODAY
1. There have always been those who hated Christmas:
a. The Grinches and the Ebenezer Scrouges;
b. The Bertrand Russels and the Richard Dawkins;
c. But the original Grinch, who lived in the days of the Lord Jesus, was King Herod. He really tried to get rid of Christmas!
2. We’re going to read the story of King Herod and see how he missed the 3 most Important Things about Christmas, and hopefully, we won’t make the same mistake.
2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: 6 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ”
7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” Mt. 2:1-8, 16-18.
2. THREE WAYS HEROD MESSED UP CHRISTMAS:
I. HE FOCUSED ON THE MATERIAL ASPECTS OF CHRISTMAS
A. HEROD’S MISTAKE
1. Here comes the 3 Wise Men following a supernatural star, asking, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?”
2. Herod’s reaction? He was threatened by this news. All he could think about were the material things he might lose – his Power, Wealth, and Position.
3. That’s really dumb because:
a. WHAT CAN POSSIBLY BE THREATENING ABOUT A BABY?
b. If this Child was the Messiah, what maniac would try to stand against Him?
B. A MODERN MISTAKE
1. The Grinch made the same mistake – he focused on the material aspect. He thought he could “steal” Christmas. Can Christmas be stolen? Of course not.
2. If you asked the average American about Christmas: “What’s the first thought that pops into your heads about Christmas?” “FILL IN THE BLANK: “Christmas:_________” “Gifts,” “Lights,” “Music,” “Tree,” “Sales,” “Decorations,” “Celebrations,” “Food,” and “Family.”