Herod’s Desperate Pride

Text: Matthew 2

Tonight, I want you to see Herod’s pride.  And particularly we need to understand the brutal consequences of unchecked pride.  Pride is something we all have.  And as long as we tell that arrogance to to keep quiet we are controlling it.  But when the pride begins talking and acting out the ramifications are horrible.

The threat of another king (vss 1-2)

  • If you’re the king and you have some foreigners showing up in your kingdom asking where is the king.  Now, you’d be tempted to say, “You’re looking at him.”  But the wise men were aware who they were talking to.  And Herod knew the wise men knew he was the king.  But that it made no matter to the wise men, they were looking for another king.
  • Direct threat to your word.
  • Affront to your royalty.
  • Jesus Christ poses a threat to man’s pride.

The tyrant’s frightened demands (vss 3-6)

  • …he demanded of them where Christ should be born… (vs 4)
  • Herod is desperately paranoid.  He quickly gathers the Jewish religious leaders to figure out where this rival is so he can eliminate him.
  • Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

The treacherous camouflage of the proud (vss 7-8)

  • …when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. (vs 8)
  • Herod has no intention of worshipping Jesus Christ.
  • He gets the religious guys out of the room so he can really sell the act that he wants to worship Jesus.
  • Serpentine.  Camouflage is to appear as your surroundings to mask your identity.
  • Camouflaging – camouflage breaks up the contours so you can’t see the shape of it defined – Genesis 3:1

The truth revealed to the faithful (vss 12-15)

  • …being warned of God in a dream… (vs 12)
  • Stay away from this guy.  He is trouble.
  • Now, God will say the same thing to others about you if you’re the proud one.  Because that pride is so destructive.  It knows no boundaries.  It is a cancer to any congregation.
  • Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
  • 3 John 9-10

The trauma that soothes a hurt ego (vss 16-18)

  • Herod’s ego was wounded.  When he saw that he was mocked…(vs 16)
  • Now, he’s going to hurt other people since his pride has been hurt.
  • Pride knows no boundaries.  It will destroy God’s work without a second thought.  It is consumed with itself.

The time for Christ’s presence when pride is gone (vss 19-21)

  • James 4:6 – Humility is submission to the will of God
  • Humility is the end of the education of the will
    • When a man or women humbles himself before God, there no more learning required.  Not my will, but thine be done.
    • Job (Job 42:6), Moses (Exodus 2-3), Paul (Acts 9:6), Amos (Amos 7:14-15), Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5-8)
    • Leviticus 26:40-42 the irony is that when you will accept the punishment, receive the chastisement for your sin, there is no more need for chastisement.
  • Humility is the beginning of divine protection
    • I thought to take a great spiritual man and show how it affected his life.  But that sort of makes it unattainable.  Let’s take a completely wicked man, sold out to iniquity, defiling God’s people and in a act of humility turns the course of a nation around.
    • 1 Kings 21:25-29 – God gives details of his wickedness to contrast the great value the Lord places on humility.
    • Get low and stay low.  The fall isn’t as bad and you will survive it.
  • Humility is the beginning of spiritual growth
  • Humility says God alone is Righteous!  Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The LORD is righteous. 2 Chronicles 12:6

The troubling heritage of the proud (vss 22-23)

  • Herod’s boy follows in his footsteps.
  • Before you open your mouth about that chip on your shoulder.  Before you express your distaste at someone else’s inferiority (in your mind), you better consider the legacy you’re leaving behind.