|Rejected | Herod|
|December 27, 2008|
Part 1 of 5 | December 28, 2008
Guest Speaker: Dave Hubert
“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:2-3, NIV)
During his earthly life, Jesus was rejected…a lot. We're always talking about those who followed him. But what about those who rejected him? What can we learn from them? In this series, we're going to explore the lives of a number of people who had a chance to follow Jesus, but instead chose to reject him. King Herod was one of those people. This is his story.
"Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him." And when Herod the king heard it, he was . . . troubled (disturbed, greatly agitated, disquieted, deeply perturbed, stirred up, irritated, alarmed, terrified, very upset, frightened, worried, anxious) and all Jerusalem with him. And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he began to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born. And they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet, 'AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER, WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.'" Then Herod secretly called the magi, and ascertained from them the (exact, precise) time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, "Go and make careful search for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, that I too may come and worship Him." And having heard the king, they went their way; and lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their own country by another way. Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise and take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him." And he arose and took the Child and His mother by night, and departed for Egypt; and was there until the death of Herod, that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, "OUT OF EGYPT DID I CALL MY SON." Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, (furious, boiling) and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its environs, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the magi. Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, "A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, WEEPING AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN; AND SHE REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY WERE NO MORE." (Matthew 2:1-18, NIV)
I just can’t believe this. When will it all end? No matter what I do to advance myself and keep what is mine, somebody is after it.
I worked my way into power and position. Schmoozed with repulsive Romans. (Julius Caesar, Octavian, Mark Antony) I got myself appointed king by the Roman senate. I guess selling that vacated senate seat really paid off.
Jews rejecting me as king. Hasmonean royalty versus Idumean (Edomite, Esau)
Great builder. Caesarea. Built the Herodium: fortress and burial. Built the Jewish temple. Took 50 years to build it. But did the Jews appreciate me? No!
I had to kill a wife and 3 sons (Royalty). Married 10 times, 15 kids. (Elizabeth Taylor beat that one.)
Executed several other prominent people including Pharisees. This newborn king was just one more threat to my tenuous hold onto power/control. But I took care of him. I had every male child anywhere near Bethlehem 2 years and younger put to death.
I had to get rid of him. If we are not careful we’ll have another put down by the Romans for having a power struggle. We’ve had plenty of those.
This is MY THRONE!! I am Herod The Great!! I’ve worked hard for it and earned it. They think I’m mad. Well I’ll show them mad. It’s all mine, MINE, MINE!!!!
Herod rejected Jesus because he was more interested in power, control, being feared, respected, authority, wealth, status, praise, honor. One more problem at the core of it all.
In an attempt to maintain his power and his throne, he killed all of the babies in the vicinity of Bethlehem. Ramah 5 miles north of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, 5 miles south. Weeping heard for 10 miles. Rachel was buried near Bethlehem.
Magi (Side note):
Not 3. Probably 50 to 100.
Not kings (We 3 kings of orient are).
Magicians, sorcerers, enchanters, wisemen, astrologers
We saw his star in the east. (Astrologers)
Belteshazzar (Babylonian) – Daniel (Jewish)
Mike and kicking magi out of the manger. Anger Management.
At the core of it, Herod had a will problem. I want to sit on the throne of my life. I will rule. I will have it all.
This will problem ran in the family.
Herod (Agrippa, grandson of Herod the Great) “On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, "This is the voice of a god, not of a man." Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.(Acts 12:21-23, NIV)
Herod Agrippa had a terminal case of HGC = Herod God Complex
All of the adoration, worship by fans and media. They start to believe it.
Oprah Winfrey views herself as a New Age benevolent goddess.
Become God, be a god, you are God. Pantheism, Buddhism, Mormonism, Eastern Mysticism, Hinduism.
Satan with Adam & Eve.
Putting self first ruins relationships and blasphemes God and Christ. We sit on the throne of self advancement and push Christ aside.
The No. 19 Oregon Ducks beat the Oregon State Beavers and snapped their six-game winning streak as they avenged an inter-state rivalry loss last year at Oregon. This cost Oregon State a chance to go to the Rose Bowl.
After the game, Oregon Ducks receiver Jaison Williams said “To go out and ruin somebody’s dreams like that, it feels real good,” (So beautiful. Bring a tear to your eye.)
Contrast this with James Laurinaitis (OSU, middle linebacker) (Laryngitis) (Michigan post-game interview, player of the game, son of “The Animal” professional wrestler) John 17:1 on the black strips under his eyes. “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.” (John 17:1, NIV)
Application: glorify me that I may glorify you.
A man I will call John at Jeep plant in Toledo had a will problem. “I want to believe in God but I don’t.” “I would like to know that He is there but I don’t see any evidence.”
I launched into the area of Christian Evidences.
This is Richard Dawkins, Ethologist (Animal behavior, zoologist) and Evolutionary Biologist and an avowed itinerant atheist
Interviewed in the documentary movie “Expelled” Ben Stein.
“Religious people are idiots.” Unbiased, scientific factual conclusion.
"The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." (Psalm 14:1, NIV)
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”(Psalm 19:1-4, NIV)
All of creation shouts, “God made this!!”
I spent over an hour talking with John about many of these evidences.
Everyone knows what this number is. 238.0289 = Atomic Weight of Uranium. If the last digit (one/one thousandth) was one digit higher or lower, life would not exist on this planet. Intelligent design. Delicate balance.
All substances (solid, liquid, gas) depending on temperature. For all substances if you place the solid form of it in the liquid form of it, it will sink to the bottom except for one. Without that exception, life could not exist on this planet.
Glass of ice water. If ice did not float, planet would freeze over.
Earth travels 292 million miles around sun and is never late. Exact right distance from the exactly right size sun for life to exist.
Oxygen sensor at work 20.9% oxygen. If it gets to 19.5%, evacuate the room.
John I don’t think you have a knowledge/evidence problem. Problem not lack of evidence/knowledge. Problem is if God exists you know He has a claim on your life. It is a will problem. Our eyes locked and they told me I was right. He looked away and stopped talking about it.
We’ve talked about Herod’s problem in dealing with Jesus and surrender and John’s problem with it. How does all of this apply to you and me?
Surrender is a will problem that continues after accepting Christ. We keep getting back on the throne.
Sept. 20, 1964, I accepted Christ. Got off the throne.
Got back on the throne. I want control. I want the power. I want my way.
Illustration: Roped off last 3 rows at Denver church, lady on her throne
Man in church in Illinois: “We all have one vice and mine is smoking.”
“Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self (soul)?” (Luke 9:24-2, NIV)
Rich man died. A man at the funeral asked his attorney, “How much did he leave?” Attorney “All of it.”
What is your vice that you refuse to give to Jesus? What parts of your life are you still keeping for yourself and not surrendering them to God?
A persistent sin, serving (talents buried in the back yard), witness, giving.
Jesus was rejected a lot and He knows how you feel: divorce papers, didn’t make the team, turned down for job again, no - on credit card or loan application, kids are just too busy to call or visit, you didn’t qualify for the financial aid, you see your friends out together and nobody invited you. If you come to Jesus, He will not turn you down. He will never reject you. But you have to surrender your will to His and be broken.
Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: "'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone . . . He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed." (Matthew 21:42-44, NIV)
(Only 2 categories of people concerning their relationship with Jesus: Broken or Crushed)
"For this is what the high and lofty One says . . . "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite." (Isaiah 57:15, NIV)
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:17, NIV)
Contrite = repentant, humbled.
"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." ( Psalm 34:18, NIV)
"...God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (1 Peter 5:5-6, NIV)
The primary barrier to people accepting Christ is the problem of surrender, being broken, yielding up their will and placing themselves in Christ’s hands.
The primary problem we have as Christians is continuing to give up and surrender our will and life to Christ. Allowing God to break us once again. We keep getting back on the throne. It’s so hard to surrender ALL, COMPLETELY. Jesus gave His all completely. He emptied Himself.
Right now, will you reject Jesus or accept His offer of love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. But you have to surrender your will to His. You have to surrender all. But if you lose your life for Him, you will save it for all eternity.
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