At the beginning of Chapter 2 (“The Collapse of Dignity”) of Who is This Man?, author John Ortberg contrasts Jesus with King Herod, who from our perspective certainly was the most villainous person at the time of Jesus’ birth.
1. To an ancient reader, the picture or epitome of greatness
2. Given the title “King of the Jews” by the Roman Senate when he was 33 years old
3. The greatest builder of his day- the massive stones of his temple still are visible 2000 years later
4. Friend of the Romans
5. Called Herod the Great
1. A mamzer, a child whose parents were not married at conception
2. Given the title “King of the Jews” while impaled on the Cross when He was 33 years old
3. A carpenter- yet nothing he constructed is known to endure
4. Friend of sinners (not a compliment), He would be arrested as an enemy of Rome
5. Given the title “child” by Matthew, in that day a vivid contrast to “king” or “great”
As time would have it, all bad things would come to an end. Matthew reminds us three times in the 2nd chapter of his gospel that Herod the Great is now Herod the Dead. Herod was no match for death- the great leveler. It was the humble Christ Child who turned the world upside down.
Pastor Ortberg’s contrast between Herod and Jesus helps us to deepen our understanding the ultimate descriptor of our identity is “Child of the King”.
Today’s question: How does being a child of the King help us heal from our past pain and revision our calling? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “A kingdom for children”