King Herod Wanted to “Worship” Jesus — Look Out for the Abuser’s Tricks
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 saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'” Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-8)
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. (Matthew 2:13-16)
Alright then, what do we have here? The same old story, right? A wicked man who craved power and control as if he were God himself. And what was his tactic in this case? He pretended to be a worshiper of God….”so that I may come and worship him.” Right. These rather mysterious Gentiles who came seeking Christ are called “wise men.” And yet, it still took God Himself intervening to warn them not to return to Herod and tell him the info he wanted to hear. Same thing with Joseph. The Lord warned him to take Mary and the child to Egypt.
The wool comes off the wolf when he doesn’t get his way, doesn’t it? You see it here with Herod when he finds out that the wise men tricked him. He becomes murderous in his rage, ordering the mass slaughter of little ones. This evil agent of Satan put on the facade of wanting to worship Christ, when in fact he wanted to kill him.
When it comes to this warfare that every true Christian is fighting, there is no room for naivete. Many people claim to want to worship and serve Jesus Christ, but most of them are counterfeits and some of them are as evil as Herod. We simply cannot take someone at their word and believe them without question when they make claims to belong to Christ, when they get baptized, when they become a church member, pray, quote Bible verses…so that when a victim of their evil steps forward we automatically disregard their report. “But Lord, King Herod was a really nice guy. He just wants to worship Jesus.”
Evil, you see, is quite capable of wearing an amazingly convincing mask. It seems that many in the church today just don’t want to believe that.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
Finally, since it is the Lord’s Day, we hope you enjoy this hymn.
Related post: The abuser in the Christmas story