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2:1-23 | Herod vs. the Wise Men

2:1-23 | Herod vs. the Wise Men - Morgan Bradley
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Herod

  1. A despised king

    1. Puppet king of Rome

    2. Half Edomite

  2. A paranoid king

    1. Survived assassination attempts

    2. Always suspected plots against him from his own family

    3. Doubted his wife's fidelity

    4. Troubled by news of the King of the Jews

  3. A violent king

    1. Put many of his own family to death

    2. Did anything to remove perceived threats to his rule

    3. Eventually slaughters all baby boys in the Bethlehem region

 

The Magi

  1. Wise men from the East

    1. Were likely Persian or Babylonian

    2. Believed in astrology

    3. Possibly influenced by Jews who remained after the captivity

  2. They were looking for the newborn king

    1. They had seen a star

    2. Jerusalem is the natural place to look for a king

    3. Where is he to be found?

 

The Chief Priests and Scribes

  1. Consulted by Herod

    1. He's troubled

    2. He's ignorant of the scripture

  2. They're apathetic

    1. They have knowledge but no zeal to do anything

    2. The messiah has just been announced and they do nothing

 

Three Ways People React to Jesus

Resist the King

  1. People want to live life as they see fit

    1. We like our independence

    2. William Wallace "Freedom!"

    3. Patrick Henry "Give me liberty, or give me death!"

    4. Shape the world as you see fit

    5. Jeremiah 2:20 | I won't serve!

  2. The authority of Jesus is a threat to their lifestyle | Gal. 2:20

    1. It's not my life anymore

    2. We owe him our life

      1. More than saying we'd die for him

      2. Every second goes to him

    3. I'm not going to be doing the things I want to anymore

  3. Herod tried to fight back

    1. Kills the male children in Bethlehem | 10-20 children

    2. But God is going to win | Psalm 2

  4. Why fight a losing battle?

    1. He's going to give us so much more than what we can get here

Ignore the King

  1. The most surprising response

    1. These men were dedicated to the Lord

    2. Shouldn't they have gone with the Magi to worship Jesus?

    3. Instead they ignored the king

  2. To interested in their own affairs

    1. Couldn't see what was right in front of them | John 5:39-40

    2. Looking for my glasses on my own face

    3. This happens in a few commentaries I read

  3. They might not have believed

    1. We know better than these Gentiles from the East

  4. People will ignore Jesus for all sorts of reasons

    1. They don't see why he's important

    2. He makes them uncomfortable | John 3:19

    3. Always try to fit him in another day down the road

    4. They think they have an understanding with him

  5. They will miss out on everything

Worship the King

  1. These were among the first to worship Jesus

    1. Herod tried to fight against him

    2. The priests and scribes ignored him

    3. The Magi come and worship

  2. They recognized him as king

    1. They themselves were in prominent positions in life

      1. They had luxurious gifts

      2. They could expect an audience with Herod

    2. The gifts were only fit for a king

    3. No reason to believe in the traditional symbolism of these gifts

 

How Will We React to Jesus?

  1. He's been announced to us

    1. We know of his kingly lineage

    2. We know God has established him on his throne

  2. Are we going to ignore him?

  3. Are we going to fight against him?

  4. Will we worship him as the king and savior that he is