Beware of the little Herod that lurks inside us all

Which character of Christmas do you identify with most closely? Our tendency is to think first of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds or the wise men. But have you ever thought about how closely you relate to the villain in the story, King Herod?

Herod was the king of Judea at the time that Christ was born. He was well known throughout the land. Herod was a builder. In so many ways, he was an extraordinary person. He was highly intelligent and politically connected.

He was all about building his own legacy. He was all about control. He was all about his own ambitions. He was willing to do whatever he had to do to maintain control of his kingdom and to protect his legacy.

By the time we get to the biblical narrative about the birth of Jesus in Matthew 2, King Herod is about 70 years old. That’s when he gets the most disturbing news he could imagine. A new king had been born. His name was Jesus. This was a threat.

A group of wise men traveled a great distance and a long time to see the infant King. About five miles away, there was another king who was worried to death. He wanted to know, “Where is this baby?”

He had asked the wise men to come bring back a report and tell him everything they discovered as soon as they found out. Herod’s goal was control. He was not about to worship anyone.

Herod was a lot like us, and we are a lot like Herod. The idea of surrendering our will or worshiping another or humbling ourselves doesn’t come naturally. That is because there is a little Herod in all of us.

What will be your story in regard to the Light of the world? Will it be a story of resistance or a story of worship? Will you be like Herod or will you be like the wise men? Will you spend your whole life trying to build your kingdom? Or will you participate in the Kingdom of God?

Will your story be about how you tried to cling to all of the things that you would eventually have to give up anyway? Or will yours be a story of surrendering everything to God because you realized it wasn’t yours to begin with? Will your story be about your way or God’s way? Will it be about your will or His will?

It is wise to beware of that little Herod that lurks inside.

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