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December 21, 2021 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ categorize.
How would you categorize is a despicable human being. The matter how you kind of look at that about that I would categorize them with one word, pride. In fact, it's my my estimation that's wise and Herod is the show man for my manners problem really proud effectively.
Think about if you can. Is there anything on earth that is ever been as joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is again he shows us how God's word meets our work Christmas time so you stuff that is finished shopping and wrapping the traveling you already. You always think about all these things you have to get done because it's Christmas time.
For me it's different than it is for you. For me, the situation is it's Christmas time when I got a pre-joint. I mean we do the same thing over and over again. Now that I say wrong with that but give you know after you hear yourself talk for all these years. I just like okay here we go again to do a sermon on not with us to marry or let's do Joseph Shepard's always good.
We do the Angels I and they have the wise men even though they been coming Christmastime they did eventually come so we can always use the wise men tried to think about that and I'm this week and I was trying to think about you know who. What I do this on which one of them. If you think about them. Mary Joseph Shepard's wisemen Angels all uplifting all wonderful that they're all merely heroic characters but the more I thought about it, there's one character in the in the birth story of Jesus, you probably never even heard of someone Christmastime. There's one character that shows up in the birth narrative, and yet no one ever preaches on there's one character that that is not exactly heroic.
Even though his name means he will. His name is Herod.
That's what I like to talk about this morning.
I like to talk about Herod is known as Herod the great Dean fair 19th century British scholar will disembodiment. He said his whole career was red with blood and murder. Just by strangulation death by burning desk by being cleft asunder best by secret assassination confessions forced by on honorable torture acts of insulin and in human lust. In fact, the survivors during his lifetime were even more miserable than the people that he killed that's Herod. Herod the great, he he murdered his wife. He murdered his mother-in-law, he murdered his brother-in-law. He murdered three of his sons, at one time he murdered 36 Levitical priest at the same time he had 10 wives, all of them were miserable and that he was called Herod the great king of Judah, by the way, is not Jewish.
His father was interim in his mother was the daughter of an Arab sheik, but he reigned as king for 37 years, so I like to talk a little bit about Herod this morning. So open your Bibles to Matthew chapter 2 Matthew chapter 2 we can read about Herod starting in verse one. Now, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, where is he was been born king of the Jews, for we saw a star in the East and have come to worship him. When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled all Jerusalem with him and gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah would be born, and they said to him in Bethlehem of Judea for this is what was written by the prophet, and you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah for out of you shall come forth a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel and then Herod secretly called the Magi and determine from them the exact time the star would appear and he sent them to Bethlehem and said go and search carefully for the child and when you will find them reported to me so that I too may come and worship him.
Nobody verse 13 now when they had gone.
Behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt and remained there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him and says Joseph got up and took the child and his mother while was still night, and he left for Egypt and he remained there until the death of Herod.
This was to fulfill what had been spoken of by the Lord to the prophet out of Egypt I called my son and then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the Magi, he became very enraged and he sent any slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity from two years old and under, according to the time which you determine from Egypt, from the Magi and then what had been spoken up to Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled a voice was heard in Ramah, weeping, and great morning, Rachel weeping for her children and she refused to be comforted, because they were no more. And when Herod died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said go take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead. So Joseph got up and took the child and his mother and came to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was raining over Judea in place of his father Herod.
He was afraid to go there and then after being warned by God in a dream he left for regions of Galilee and he came. He lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken of through the prophets, that he shall be called a Nazarene. That's a very familiar story to us the thing we never often think about. We always give the Magi all been care all of what the Magi did, but I would like to talk a little bit about how important Herod is in this narrative.
Some interesting observations noticed in verse two, when the Magi come in. They are the kingmakers from Persia and I've said this in the past and want to get your upset with your nativity scene. They always rode horses. They didn't ride camels okay so they don't don't come when camels became one horses there called kingmakers and they come and ask this question. Where is he was been born king of the Jews helping yourself a Herod spot what was king of the Jews. Me, I drinking the juice for 37 years. This is the year by the way that he dies I would change we mean where is he that is born King of the Jews. You want people to talk like that with me. I told him I had sons, I killed no one's gonna take this wrong way for me this is my phone, I got it.
Notice in verse three it says when Herod the king heard this, he was troubled. The word means disturbed.
He's very upset he's kinda paranoid.
So, gathering together all the priests and scribes, he said to them where's the Messiah to be born and noticed a salesman Bethlehem was interesting. The Magi came from hundreds of miles away. It took them a long time to get there. The child was born about 6 miles from where Herod was is a two hour walk, but he didn't even make the walk on his own.
He decides he's not going to write down the road so notice what he says in verse seven then Herod secretly called the Magi and determine them the exact time the star appeared and he sent them to Beth them. He said going search carefully for notice. Not the king. The child go and search carefully for the child and when you will find them report to me that I too may come and worship him. You know the story. What is Herod's reaction to the birth of Jesus Christ.
Infanticide we have no idea how many baby boys were executed, every baby boy two years old and we killed them all.
Now you see why people to lay preacher, Herod, much if you were going to categorize Herod. How would you categorize him as a despicable human being, no matter how you kind of look at him no doubt about that. But if I were to categorize him, I would categorize them with one word, pride, Herod is proud and in fact it's my in my estimation that's wise in the birth narrative. Herod is the show man for what man is proud he's really proud. In fact, if you think about it from the point of view can never, is there anything on earth that is ever been as destructive as pride start thinking about what pride does T.S. Eliot said most of the trouble in the world is by people wanting to be important to pride us anything about it. Pride always hurts people always pride always hurts people. How many apologies were never spoken. Because of pride. How many compliments were never given because of pride. How many broken hearts and broken marriages and broken children come at the expense of pride she pride in itself. This is what Herod represents when you think of pride.
Pride is the essence of sin. Remember Lucifer this great beautiful star of the morning and then you realize, when he writes in Isaiah 14, at five times.
He said what I will sit on the holy mountain. I will be like the most time I will Ezekiel 28 tells us because he looked at himself and what did he feel pride is the essence of sin. We went to the guard to be many talks to Eve. What does he say to her through the serpent. If you eat this of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you will be what like God is pride. That's what Herod represents to us in this narrative he represents pride using pride or something that comes natural to us powerful, we do so many things because of our pride.
When I was young I would say it was about 10 years old up the road from where I lived. They cited new construction at St. Gregory's church and they were building a new convent for the nuns. The stand and in Pennsylvania have real basements under your home and so you have to dig the basement out and then you have to put the floor down the walls of a build a house on top of the basement and so when they dug the basement out for the new convent. They had this enormous power of dirt off to the side and as a typical 10-year-old boy. We had all kinds of extra time in our hands.
We decided that would be a great place to play and so we started playing. We played all afternoon.
I don't remember too many things except that the it was difficult. I probably have my shirt ripped pants probably Roland probably got some scratches to see. We played a game we called King of the Hill. Can you play king of the hill. Now the whole point of king the event of any rules the king of the hill was one guy stands up on top of the owners the king than everyone else tries to climb the hill. Now you climb the hill at all cost, no matter what it takes and then what you do is you eventually get up and throw the king off the hill and then you're looking at video and so they cannot throw you off and we must've done a cycle afternoon but you know, for most people it's not again king that he was not a game at all.
People always get hurt. You don't do it on hills. You do it in classrooms or boardrooms or bedrooms but is pride. It's what comes natural to us. You see, if you want to be king. Someone's going to get hurt is always the way it works in life. That's what the essence of pride is like one of the apostle Paul said in Romans 12 he said do not think more highly of yourself and you want to. He warns us about this. GK Chesterton said this, how much larger your life would be if you could only become a little smaller and it that's the essence of us. Herod represents us he represents what human pride is like he's the worst of us. When it comes to this, but is just like us as well. I want to go with me to see what God thinks of pride go with me to Proverbs chapter 8 Proverbs chapter 8 and verse 13 Proverbs 8 verse 13 Solomon rights first, the principal, the fear of the Lord is to hate evil. That's what we should do if you fear the Lord, you hate evil, but notice what he says, then pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth and then God is speaking in one of those last two words of the verse. I hate done a lot of things in the Bible, God will say I hate that he hates pride.
He hates pride. You see, finds no wrongful pride at all is not done even there. Go with me to Proverbs 16 Proverbs 16 verse five. Proverbs 16 in verse five everyone who is proud and hard is an abomination to the Lord assured me he will not go unpunished. Everyone who is proud in hard is an abomination to the Lord really hates it.
He said it's an abomination to be prideful and then he goes on is not an idle threat. He said assured me he will not go unpunished. Wisconsin get you. I will eventually, I'll get you noticed.
Verse 18 of chapter 16 a Proverbs pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before stumbling God only hates it is only an abomination to God. But God says something to get you for that is always in God's timing, but he said I'm going to do it using it usually takes a long time because one of the worst things about pride.
I'm sure Herod had a two if you know people are proud they don't know the problem similar said pride is the mask of one of how we mask all of our own faults. The supply does people prideful don't even know to be improbable. Everybody around the nose and the reason is because pride always hurts everybody in Philippians 2 Paul said do nothing for me. Selfish arrogance or empty conceit in first Peter 55. Peter will God as opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble. That's one of the things you see in the word of God and as part of the birth narrative. God hates pride. God loves humility and here's the issue for us. Pride comes natural to us. Humility is choice we make.
Pride comes natural to you but humility is a choice that you make.
That's what he tells us notice what happens when were humble. Go to Proverbs 11 Proverbs 11 in verse two. God says this when pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom. The first thing God says is good when I get people that are humble are given wisdom, knowledge, pride are going to get dishonor, but with with humility.
They're going to get wisdom. He said that's going to come from me to Proverbs 15 in verse 33. Writes this, the fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility.
God says I'll give someone who is humble, given wisdom and I'll give that person honor. This is coming from God is not finished. Go back to the book of Psalms with me to your left to Psalm 25 in verse nine, Psalm 25 in verse nine he said concerning this verse it'll pick it up good and upright is the Lord, therefore he instructs sinners in the way he leaves the humble injustice, and he teaches the Humble Is Way, God's is all not only give the humble wisdom and give them honor our give them justice, but also give them direction.
I will lead humble people. This makes sense because if you're not humble you will never let the Lord lead you.
He said there is the difference in the Bible is just full of quotes like this, Psalm 138 the Lord is supreme. He takes care of those who are humble. Isaiah 57 God says I live with people who are humble Isaiah 66. These are the ones I looked on with favor those who are humble and contrite. That's what you have in the birth narrative you have this king Herod the great is his name and opposite this king you have this stable in Bethlehem and this little baby born to two obscure people. The dimmers between human pride and true humility. That's what the birth narrative is about God's us can make this picture any clear to you I hate pride and I love humility. That would mean that I would have to think about my achievements less than God's achievements more you have to do. That means that I have to spend less time on my phone and more time at the feet of his cross means we have to spend less time bragging about our work, bragging about his work using the Bible says something about you. You are valuable, but you're not invaluable. Only the Lord is that I love what Jesus said in Matthew 11 he said I am gentle and humble in heart when you think about that for a moment I am gentle and humble in heart with them ever be anybody else who ever lived who should be as proud as Jesus was anybody. You see we talk about pride. Is there anybody who ever lived. The should be as proud as Jesus was no one in Jesus says of himself. He said look I am gentle and humble in heart, he's made a choice.
I want to show you how this choice works told me not to Philippians chapter 2 Philippians chapter 2 and verse three, and this really is about the birth narrative or the Christmas story. This is what really happened spiritually. There verse three says this do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit is a commandment.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit. Now ask you how much wiggle room. This adverse give you Stephen say some things little things a few things to do.
Nothing there shouldn't do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit. Now you say, but I'm not like that. Okay, but see if you pass the test next part of the verse, but with humility of mind. Every go. That's humility.
Now watch regard one another as more important than yourselves.
Is that describing is that you do you regard everyone else is more important in your and I'll be like in this room. Christians are really good on Sunday mornings in a house of worship. I mean, how about when you're at a restaurant you regard to servers more important. You really do see new regard to guide comes a most aggressive more important in your seat. I'll be honest.
He made them say just a few people will regard people who really are more important than you. He said you regard everybody is more important than you see what what is a take on your part. You have to choose to be humble you have to make a choice because this is a natural, you know it's not. He said do not merely look out for your own personal interest. You have to look out for the interest of others you think about your life that way and everything you run into no matter who you run into.
That's what humility does the radio ministry fellowship Lord, if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just like to listen to the message one more time remembering a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online at that website you will find on today's broadcast but also many of her previous audio program, had Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help with radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting a monthly with just a one-time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible church visit our website SBC Nola.org that SBC 10 of LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds of possible sermon you can browse through our sermon archives defined sensors you're looking for or you can search by title. Once you find the messenger looking for.
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