Matthew 2:3 - When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
"And all Jerusalem with him." It makes sense that Herod would be troubled by news of a rival king, even a baby. But why would the people of Jerusalem be troubled along with him?
Anyone who has ever lived with someone like Herod could tell you the answer. They were probably afraid of what Herod might do in his rage.
Herod was a violent and unpredictable man. He even put to death some of his own sons and their mother, his favorite wife. Later, when he himself was dying, Herod had the leading men of the country imprisoned and gave orders that they should be killed as soon as he himself died, in order that there would be genuine mourning at his death. A man who would do things like that might do anything! No one in Jerusalem wanted to be around when Herod got upset.
How much better it is for us, who belong to the real King! We don't have to walk on eggshells around Jesus, or be afraid that He will do terrible things to us in His anger. Our King came to have mercy on us and to give His life for His people.
Our God is the opposite of abusive—He loves us, is patient with us, and calls us back to Him in faith and repentance, time after time after time. Even the weakest and most fragile people can come to Jesus without fear, knowing that He will welcome them and treat them with compassion; as Isaiah says, "He will not cry aloud or lift up His voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed He will not break, and a faintly burning wick He will not quench" (Isaiah 42:2-3). Even little children are welcomed by Him.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, draw me close to You, trusting in Your compassion and mercy. Amen.
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
The Coming King REFLECTION QUESTIONS!
Who is a person who always made you feel welcome and loved? Describe him or her.
Have you ever had to live or work with someone of unpredictable temper? How did you cope?
What does it mean to you, knowing that Christ is gentle and patient?
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