Herod the Not So Great


Herod the Great is a fascinating character… he was the part I always wanted to play in the church Nativity play when I was a child… Others wanted to be shepherds or wise men… But I wanted to be the villain of the piece…
And what a villain… We don’t read a great deal about him in scripture, but what we read is pretty unpleasant… There is actually no record outside the Bible of a massacre of children ordered by Herod, but it is certainly in keeping with what we do know of him: an insecure and ruthless King who murdered most of his own family and many other rivals for the throne.
But his end was particularly unpleasant… For fear that those of a delicate disposition might be reading I don't want to go into details, but it did involve worms and maggots where no man would want them to be…

Many saw the extreme unpleasantness of his demise as a sign of God’s judgement, but there are many equally ruthless people who have never experienced earthly punishment… Indeed it sometimes seems that the evil flourish while the innocent suffer. This is often tossed up as an argument against the existence of God... or at least the existence of a just God... But really it is just another example of the corruption of this fallen world.
Scripture teaches that whilst not every evil receives earthly punishment, after this life we all face judgement… Whether we are a King or a beggar, a ruthless tyrant or a generous philanthropist, we all have to bow before a King who is far greater than Herod… And the only way that we can come before him with confidence is by knowing that Jesus, the only truly innocent one, will speak in our defence.


Again, this is adapted from a talk written for broadcast on Downtown this morning.



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