Episode 160 – Characters of Christmas Pt 5: King Herod & King Jesus
Key Passage(s): Matthew 2:1–12; Genesis 25:32
In this final episode of Characters of Christmas, we explore a subtle, yet powerful distinction Matthew makes between Jesus and Herod that many people completely miss. Despite being appointed “king of the Jews,” Herod was religiously Jewish, culturally Greek, politically Roman, racially Arab, and ancestrally Edomite. Talk about an identity crisis! As we’ll see, Herod may have possessed the title “king of the Jews,” but he wasn’t the true king, and he knew it. Once you grasp what Matthew is really saying, you’ll see how the Christmas story challenges us to ask whether our allegiance is to Jesus, and to him alone.
- What was your biggest takeaway from the teaching?
- What are some of the things in your life that challenge your allegiance to Jesus and Jesus alone? (Think about the things that get the lion share of your attention, energy, and devotion)
- Herod knows he’s not the true king but still insists on living as though he is. He’s a case study in living a divided life. What do you think it means to live a divided life?
- In what ways do you catch yourself living a divided life?
- What has to change in your life in order to live more fully under Jesus’s rule and reign?
- How will you begin living out the truths of this teaching this week?
For Further Study
- Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey – Chapter 4
- Lexham Geographic Commentary on the Gospels: Matthew’s Birth Narrative by Benjamin A. Foreman – Chapter 3
- Rose Then and Now Bible Map Atlas by Paul H. Wright – Chapter 17 (The Herods: Magnificent to a Fault)
- The Herods by Bruce Chilton
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Great series! My friends and I used this as our advent study – watching and discussing each episode one week and then doing more research into that character the next week. We have loved it and learned so much.