King of the Jews

One of the most well-known men in early New Testament times was Herod the Great. The title of being the Great was not easily accomplished. To obtain this position of greatness, Herod sought to scheme and kill many people to procure the throne. He won the people’s favor through building things that the people liked. Having an indifference to God, he rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem to gain favor in the eyes of the people. He also constructed many theaters and racetracks to win over the favor of the Romans. All of the great accomplishments of Herod were for the purpose of serving his own self-interests. The title attributed to Herod for all his great actions was “King of the Jews”. Herod had his throne secured and no one was going to get in his way…so he thought….
There was another Man who was also considered to be great. However, this time an angel determined that He would be great (Luke 1:32). This Man’s greatness would be different. His leadership and teachings on greatness would be very different than what His followers were expecting. One day strange men from far-away lands were search-ing for this Man, but He was only a young Child at the time. They considered this Child to be the “King of the Jews” (Matt. 2:1-2). Alarmed that his throne again was at stake, Herod the Great inquired of the scribes. When he realized that Micah’s prophecy refers to a King born in Bethlehem who will rule over Israel, Herod once again sought to protect his throne by ordering the death of all the male children under the age of two (Matt. 2:16). After all, this was all in his best interest of being on the throne. Herod was the model of greatness in that day.
Years later, the Child, who had es-caped Herod’s plan, grew into a Man. He had a following, and people began to think that this Jesus of Nazareth was a great Man. How-ever, this Man’s goal was not to make Him-self great like Herod, rather it was to do the will of His Heavenly Father. One day, Jesus taught that greatness was not in exercising authority or being the one in charge. This was how the people of the day define greatness, but this is not how the Son of God defines greatness. Greatness, in God’s eyes, is serving others rather than being served by others (Matt. 20:25-26). Jesus was not wanting to be served. He came to serve and to be “a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:27-28). And that is what He did.
Not long after that teaching, Jesus did become a ransom for many. Jesus did serve in the humblest of ways. We see that Jesus hung on the cross, dying a sinner’s death, even though He was the perfect Lamb who was totally guiltless. Deserving to be worshiped, He was mocked. Deserving to be praised, He was beaten. And what was the title given to him? He was the “King of the Jews” (Matt. 27:37). This is truly the King of the Jews. He was truly the greatest servant. Herod was not the true example of greatness, Jesus was. Herod was not the true king, Jesus was. And one day, Jesus will return, not only as “King of the Jews” but also as the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16).
What we learn from this is that great-ness is not determined by what people think or by what man determines as great. God is the one who determines who is great, and He determined that Christ is the greatest because he served in the humblest of ways (Phil. 2:5-11).
After which king are we modeling ourselves? Are we following the teachings and example of Herod’s greatness or Jesus’ true greatness? My prayer is that we define greatness in accordance with scripture. As a church, may we seek to serve in our homes, workplaces, and social gatherings rather than to be served. Which king are we following?
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1 Comment

David Measer - March 29th, 2022 at 8:41am

So glad we have the perfect example of true humility to look to in Christ's sacrifice. Through the Holy spirit we can hope to be granted some of that humbleness to overcome our own erigance. " Of Wich I am chief ".

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