The Baby Butcher of Bethlehem (Matthew #5)

Text: Matthew 2:16-18

The events are these.  Herod realizes the wise men aren’t going to bring him the information he wants about the Lord Jesus Christ so he is irate!  His solution? Genocide. Based on the timing of things he figures if he kills all the children 2 and under he will eliminate the Lord Jesus Christ.  In Herod’s fury he kills all the children in and around Bethlehem, boys and girls, 2 and under. In our town, that would be about 400 children. Undoubtedly he kills some parents who stood their guard over their children while this insane lunatic had his mass murder carried out for the sole purpose of getting rid of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Now, this is obviously a part of history that doesn’t make it into the Christmas story.

Matthew notes the fulfillment of prophecy as usual.  He says Jeremy, which is Jeremiah, described this event.  Look in Jeremiah 31:15. But the event is tied to something even further in the past.  Go back to Genesis 35:16-19. Rachel dies in Bethlehem giving birth to Benjamin.

Now, back to Matthew.  There are three notable lessons in these violent verses.  First, Herod’s goal never changes, but his tactics do. His goal is to kill Jesus Christ.  Second, the death of these children is a result of Herod’s hatred for Jesus Christ, not his hatred for the children.  Third, nothing is sacred to Herod when it comes to getting rid of Jesus Christ.

Stratagems of the wicked

  • GOAL doesn’t change, but the tactics to.  Another way of saying this is the ends justify the means.
  • Herod’s first approach is deception, particularly, religious deception.  Herod tells the wise men he’s just like they are. He wants to worship too.  We’re all on the same road. But the goal is to get close to Jesus Christ to destroy him.
  • Herod’s second approach is genocide.  When he finds out he’s not going to be able to locate the Lord Jesus Christ specifically, he resorts to mass murder.  The goal remains to destroy the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Deceive or Destroy
  • Infiltrate or Intimidate
  • Deception first.  Notice John 8:32.
  • Sometimes Christians don’t seem like they believe in a devil.  

Satanic hatred for Jesus Christ

  • Herod is so set on destroying Jesus Christ he will kill anyone that looks like Christ.
  • John 15:18-25
  • James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
  • This devil’s world is threatened by Jesus Christ, but it really doesn’t know why it’s threatened.  If Jesus Christ is running things then things would be a whole lot better. But Herod doesn’t care HOW things are run, Herod just doesn’t want to give up the throne.  And now you’ve hit on the threat Jesus Christ poses.
    • Now I bet you know that if Jesus Christ was truly running your life, things would be a whole lot better all around.  Your problem and my problem is we don’t care HOW things are run as much as we care about WHO is running them. You don’t care that Jesus Christ makes a better master than you, but you don’t want to give up that throne.

Slaughter of innocents

  • Herod sets out to slaughter all the children 2 and under in order to get rid of Jesus Christ.  Some commentators say it was only the boys, but you don’t read that in the Bible. All children were included in this slaughter.
  • Nothing is sacred when the enemies of Jesus Christ go to work.  There are no rules of engagement. There is no gentlemen’s understanding.  There is ruthless violence toward Jesus Christ.
  • As Herod slaughtered an entire generation to get rid of Jesus Christ, so here are some ways the next generation is being slaughtered.
  • Slaughtered by worldly counsel
    • Grown adults helping children to obsess over their sex are perverts that ought to be in prison.  And parents that encourage perversion in their children are pedophiles. “Theybies”
    • The rate of attempted suicide in gender confused children is?  Some studies have it at 41%, some at 50%.
    • Luke 17:1-2 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! 2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
  • Slaughtered by wrong discipline
    • Proverbs 23:13-14 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
  • Slaughtered by worldly pleasure.
    • Proverbs 7 (7:23 he gets stabbed to death)
    • 1 Timothy 5:6