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Herod the Grinch


Editors note: This is a part of a series on the characters of Christmas.

Everyone knows the story of the green creature vehemently opposed to Christmas. The Grinch loathes those who do love Christmas and he does all he can to steal it from them. He goes to great lengths, but in the end he realizes he’s been wrong all along and comes to love Christmas too.

Sadly, there was an original ‘grinch’ who really did try to steal Christmas and his name was Herod the Great;

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.” Matthew‬ ‭2:1-4‬ ‭

Herod hears of a king being born who is foretold that will be the KING of the Jews. The problem is that he is ‘king’ under the structure of the Roman rule that was in place at that time. Having no rightful claim to be king under Jewish law, He is only king because of his appointment by Rome.

So, he hears of a king being born and immediately is threatened. Probably not so much by the baby, but by the idea the people could be stirred up and Rome get upset with Herod. That could mean big trouble for Herod the Great so he pulls a Herod the Grinch move;

“Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.” Matthew‬ ‭2:7-8, 16‬ ‭

Herod tried to steal Christ- the Messiah, but he is thwarted by God. Ironically (hmm…), history records that Herod died sometime right after this incident. It appears this Grinch didn’t get a chance to find the true meaning of Christmas.

Perhaps you have been like Herod- not in taking such a drastic measures as he did, but you have done all you can to keep the true meaning of Christmas from entering your heart. You have determined to make yourself ‘king’ and have refused to give in to the truth of the real King.

Today is a great day to find the true meaning of Christmas. Simply acknowledge that Jesus is the King of kings who loves you and came for you. The true meaning of Christmas comes when you trust Christ and ask to be saved;

“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans‬ ‭10:9‬

Herod couldn’t stop Jesus from being King and now we just need to stop and accept this spirit of Christmas and make Him our King.

Contact us if you’d like to know more.

Prayer focus: for those in prison for the sake of Christ

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