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Faithlife

Christmas Characters Herod Matthew 2

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Herod - Matthew 2:1-18

Secular:

  • It’s an interesting phenomenon…
  • I saw it in little league…
  • A hockey team was in a tournament… one of the star players on his team blocked a shot… took it hard…
  • Right off the ankle…. He hobbled a bit… skated it off and finished the game….
  • As he laced up his skates for the next game we saw how gruesome it really was… black and swollen…
  • All I could think was ouch?
  • The story was being shared between the parents in the stands…. How is he? What happened? Is he going to play?
  • One parent from the other team slipped away during the discussion… he made a beeline for the opposing coach. What had been innocent conversation… about accurate information…. Turned out to be a bad thing for a kid with a black and blue ankle.
  • The game started… and every time the opposing team got close to him they took a whack at that sore ankle….
  • The other team was unsportsmanlike…. They were dealing with truth… reliable facts…. They overheard…
  •  But life isn’t about Good Information… it is about what we do with it…

Biblical:

Matthew 2:1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw 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 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: 6 'AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.'" 7 Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him." 9 After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way. 13 Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him." 14 So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. 15 He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "OUT OF EGYPT I CALLED MY SON." 16 Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. 17 Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: 18 "A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, WEEPING AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN; AND SHE REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY WERE NO MORE."

Personal:

  • The temptation to talk about the appropriate use of information during an election campaign is too juicy….
  • Too often we are misled by motives that make the facts serve the one who is sharing them….
  • Frustrating to take all the spin out and figure out what is actually happening…
  • When we go to make responsible decisions we have to deal with ton of these so called facts… more like snippets of truth spun into an unbelievable web!

Bridge:

  •  To know there is was a crime committed and not speak up…
  • To keep silent while a friend cheats on his wife
  • To see someone hurt on a small side trail off Big Timber or Dusty’s trail… and ski on by….
  •  When we look at Herod we see someone who knew the truth… the facts as the unfolded before him and someone who knew scripture…. And its promises….
  •  But he used all his power and knowledge to serve himself… he had good information
  • But,  it isn’t about Good Information… it is about what we do with it…

Body:

Good Information

Matthew 2:1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw 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 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: 6 'AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.'"  

  •  Herod had a kind of faith
  • He believed there would be a "king"
  • He believed this king would come and rule Israel
  • He believed the Old Testament Scripture in Micah 5:2
  • Micah 5:2 "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity."
  • He believed the Old Testament Scripture in Isaiah 7:14
  •  Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
  • His "faith" was very different than that of the Magi.
  • His faith made him fear this king.
  • He knew the truth… he had good information… confirmed by Scripture
    • … he had good information… confirmed by Wise Men… Magi…. “A caste of wise men specializing in astronomy, astrology, and natural science”
  • He didn’t want to use this information appropriately
  • What was true didn’t serve Herod….
  • He wished to kill Him, not to worship Him.
  • Secretly, he set his plan in motion, killing 2,000 infants.
  • He did not want a Saviour who would change the world
  • Good information alone isn’t enough
  • Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
  • Josephus…
    • Antiquities 18.3.3. "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day."
  • What Do Muslims Believe about Jesus?
    • Muslims respect and revere Jesus (peace be upon him).  They consider him one of the greatest of God’s messengers to mankind.  The Quran confirms his virgin birth, and a chapter of the Quran is entitled ‘Maryam’ (Mary).  The Quran describes the birth of Jesus as follows: (Remember) when the angels said, “O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him (God), whose name is the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, revered in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (to God).  He will speak to the people from his cradle and as a man, and he is of the righteous.” She said, “My Lord, how can I have a child when no mortal has touched me?” He said, “So (it will be).  God creates what He wills.  If He decrees a thing, He says to it only, ‘Be!’ and it is.”  (Quran, 3:45-47)
  • Herod believed in Jesus….
  • Some of the Jews believed in Jesus
  • The Muslims believe in Jesus
  •  Application: Good Information
    •  None of this should discourage good information
    • We do need to “understand” with our heads
    • A pattern of reading scripture…
    • A pattern of prayer…
    • A pattern of seeing God in the everyday…
    • A pattern of trusting Him to be all he says
  • We need good information!

The Deception

7 Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him."

  •  Sometimes things aren’t as they appear!
  • 2 Corinthians 11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
  • Just cuz they know… doesn’t mean they intend what God desires!
  • Example:
    •  Henry Morgantaler…
    • Know a baby is a life… a foetus is a life
    • Knows he is taking a life
    • Good information….
    • Deceived…. Believing it is good
  •  Not everyone deals with Good Information the same way…
  • HIV Man Found Guilty of Spreading the Virus Wednesday, December 14, 2005
    • An HIV-positive man in British Columbia has been found guilty of knowingly spreading the virus to his partners.
    • A jury found 36-year-old Adrien Nduwayo guilty on five counts of aggravated sexual assault, one count of attempted aggravated sexual assault and one count of sexual assault.
    • The man was charged after failing to disclose his condition and engaging in unprotected sex with seven women between 2000 and 2003.
    • Three women he had sex with now have HIV and claim he never told them about his condition and did not use condoms.
  •  Herod did not use his information wisely!
  • Remember Adam…. Genesis 2:16 The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."
  •  Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
  • Forgot who was God…
  •  Application: Deception
    • Don’t forget where truth resides…
    • Don’t be deceived by the Herods of our world
    • Don’t deceive yourself…
    • Trust in God’s information
    • Stay true to God’s information

 

It isn’t about Good Information… it is about what we do with it…

12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way. 13 Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him."

  •  The Magi came…. Because they knew…. They worshiped… because they believed… Faith is knowledge in action
  • Joseph… ole Joe… he married Mary… because he believed God’s messenger… and he knew God’s Word… he named the baby Jesus…. Because He had faith… he ushered the baby off to the safety of Egypt because Good Information… is all about what we do with it…
  • Noah Built, Abraham trusted, Moses led, David celebrated, Jeremiah wept, Nehemiah rebuilt, John proclaimed, Paul Endured, Augustine changed, Luther stood up, Tyndale wrote, Graham preached…

It isn’t just about Good Information… it is about what we do with it…

  •  Application: It isn’t about Good Information… it is about what we do with it…
  •  Good information alone isn’t enough
    • Good information doesn’t save
    • Knowing about Jesus isn’t enough
  • Here’s the part you want to hear… * It is about more than knowledge… it is about relationship!
  • Jesus isn’t the answer to a test…
  • Jesus isn’t just an historical figure…
  • Jesus isn’t just a wise man… or just a prophet…
  •  Jesus is personal… Jesus is all consuming… Jesus is all-loving… Jesus is truth and hope and love….
  • Jesus is our Saviour!
  • Worthy of all that we are!
  • Not a means to our end… not just about accomplishing something or getting something!
  • Jesus is our meaning… our hope… our future!
  •  We have Good information… what we do with it…
  • Draw into his arms… relish his love… live in his truth… experience his grace….
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