O come let us adore him!

Soon after he was born the infant Jesus faced a serious threat to his life. The Wise Men from the east who followed the star had asked King Herod for help in finding the new-born king. After consulting the religious teachers Herod told them to go to Bethlehem and said, “As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” After they found the infant Jesus, the Wise Men were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod and returned to their own country by another route. When Herod realized this, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under. Probably about 20 babies and little boys in Bethlehem were murdered and many families wept.

Herod the Great was a cruel tyrant. As he grew older, he became mentally unstable and was very jealous. Near the end of his life his sister poisoned his mind against his wife, Mariamne, whom he murdered, as well as her two sons, her brother, and her mother. After an unsuccessful attempt at suicide Herod died less than 2 years after Jesus was born. Like many other tyrannical rulers Herod didn’t face the fact that one day he would stand before his Maker and be called to account for everything he had done. There are no atheists in eternity.

After the Wise Men left Bethlehem an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream telling him to take Jesus and Mary to Egypt to escape Herod’s murderous plans and to stay there until Herod was dead. God protected his Son who, as a young child, was so vulnerable. Herod’s kingdom came to an inevitable end but the gracious rule of Jesus, who is King of kings, was established and grew as people from every nation under heaven received him as Saviour and Lord.

The Wise Men travelled hundreds of miles to find the new-born king and worship him. Herod lived just a few miles from Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, but was never a true worshipper. This Christmas many people around the world have bowed for the first time in worship of Jesus, God’s eternal Son. The well-known Christmas carol is now true for them, “O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem; come and behold him, born the King of Angels: O come, let us adore him Christ the Lord!”