On Sunday, we looked at Matthew 2:1-18 and saw that King Herod’s response to the news of King Jesus’ birth was to attack, seeking to kill Jesus. Herod felt that his kingship was threatened by Jesus’ Kingship. We saw that the Gospel confronts us all in the same way as it did Herod. In our sin, we all have sought to usurp God’s authority and be king of our own lives. When we are confronted with the Gospel we will either “surrender or attack,” to borrow from Sinclair Ferguson.
King Herod attacked, he wasn’t going to surrender his kingship for one moment. Look at how Ferguson outlines the reach of Herod’s kingship and influence. He wrote:
Mary and Joseph had taken Jesus to Egypt for safety.
After Herod’s death Joseph and Mary were instructed to return home. Joseph then heard that Herod’s son Archelaus was reigning over Judaea, and ‘he was afraid to go there’ (with good reason). He therefore took Mary and Jesus to live in Nazareth in Galilee.
Years later the brother Archelaus, Herod Antipas (‘the Tetrarch’), had John the Baptist beheaded. It was this Herod who connived in Jesus’ crucifixion. In due season Herod the Great’s grandson, Herod Agrippa I, had the apostle James executed. The last time we meet this dynasty Herod Agrippa II is mocking the apostle Paul with his sneering words: ‘In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?’ What a dynasty, set against the infant child of Bethlehem!
But think about this: How extensive is the kingdom of King Herod now?
And on this: How extensive is the kingdom of King Jesus now? (Child in the Manger, pg. 200)
Yes, Herod’s influence went beyond his own life, but his greatness doesn’t match the Greatness of the King of kings, Jesus Christ. What about you? Will you attack, continuing to futilely assert your kingship or will you surrender before the King, who serves?
Christian, what earthly authority intimidates you and gives you second thoughts about your loyalty to Jesus? Yes, the nations rage and plot against the Lord’s Anointed, but remember it’s all in vain (Psalm 2). Just like Herod, all of their rage and plotting is futile and will never succeed in thwarting the Kingship of Jesus. In the end, only Christ will be standing, with all others surrounding Him on bended knee confessing His Kingship (Phil. 2:10-11).