Discover the Book - December 15

 

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, while Herod was born in Edom. Jesus the Messiah was sinless; Herod, the king of the Jews, was a cruel tyrant. Herod's earthly power was awesome, but stored no treasures in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus had none of the power the world could give, but his power in heaven was beyond comprehension.

Jesus gave his life and ministry as a sacrifice so that the world would know God, but Herod's life revolved around sacrificing others in order to bring glory and honor to himself. Jesus and Herod were opposites in every way--morally, culturally, spiritually, and especially in terms of their worldly status.

Ultimately, Herod's glory and strength were forgotten. Few people remember the accomplishments of this proud king. Rather, he is remembered as a paranoid tyrant-the man who killed children in Bethlehem as an effort to save his power.

Jesus' legacy continues to impact millions of people throughout the world. Even non-Christians have heard about his life and death. Today, his followers still study his words and seek to follow the humble example of his life.

Few people were as close to salvation as the Herod family was. Few had so many opportunities to meet the Messiah and to hear His teaching. Look up the following verses, and notice the encounters the Herod family had with Jesus and His message. The Legacy of Herod the Great is that few families in history have come as close to Jesus' message as the Herod's. Many members of this ruling family knew of Jesus and His followers. Yet, one after the other, they killed or tried to kill anyone connected to Him.

1. Herod the Great Matthew 2:1-8, 13-18
2. Antipas (son of Herod the Great) Mark 6:14-29  Luke 23:8-12
3. Agrippa I (grandson of Herod the Great) Acts 12:1-5, 18-24
4. Drusilla (wife of the governor Felix and daughter of Agrippa I) Acts 24:24-26
5. Agrippa II (great-grandson of Herod the Great) Acts 25:13,23 26:1-29
6. Bernice (great-granddaughter of Herod the Great) Acts 25:13,23 26:1-29

There have been few families in history who came so close to the greatest message the world has ever heard. One after another, the Herods met or knew of Jesus and his followers. One after another, they killed or tried to kill anyone connected to him. How anyone could be so close and yet so far is hard to understand. Maybe the Herod family, who were descended from Esau and Edom, simply fulfilled the prophecies (Gen. 25:23; Num. 24:17; Obad. 8-21).
The most powerful family of kings Israel had known for many years had the opportunity to meet and serve the King of the universe. Instead, they exemplify the ultimate fate of those who do not recognize the Messiah. They lived only for themselves and not so that the world may know that there is a God in Israel (1 Sam. 17:46).

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