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The Cast of Christmas - Part 3, Villain
Miles McPherson - December 18, 2011

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Message Recap

When Jesus was born, a villain named Herod was king of Judea under the Roman government, and he was after Jesus to kill him from the day of his birth. Why would God have Jesus be born under the rule of such a villain?

Through this story, God reveals the power of the Gospel in a hostile environment. This applies not only to Jesus as a little baby, but to you: as you will experience hostility to your faith in your life, you can be sure that your own faith in Jesus has power against this opposition.

..as you will experience hostility to your faith in your life, you can be sure that your own faith in Jesus has power against this opposition.

In Matthew 2:1-3, Jesus is born and three wise men from the east seek Him to offer their worship. Verse 3 says, When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. King Herod feels threatened by the news of Jesus' birth, for if Jesus is to be King of the Jews, then what will happen to Herod? The Bible tells us that Herod is a very paranoid and evil man who even kills three of his own sons to secure his position. In his desperate search to destroy Jesus, he kills a whole town of children under two years old.

1. The evil plans of evil men are threatened by the loving plans of a loving God. Matthew 2:3

God sent Jesus to the world to provide hope and eternal life for everyone. This is a message of hope and joy to some, but to others who oppose God's plan, it is a threat. By definition, evil is opposed to God's goodness, so if you represent God, everything that is against God is against you. Jesus reminds his disciples of this fact in John 15:20, "Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also."

The very existence of God is a threat to those who don't believe. Psalm 14:1 says, The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." He does not say this in his head, as there is evidence of God's existence and master design all over the universe. The denial of God comes from the heart because the idea of God is a threat to the plans a person has for her own life. If she has to listen to the authority of someone else, then she cannot simply do whatever she wants.

2. The evil plans of evil men are powerless against the loving plans of a loving God. Matthew 2:1-19

Herod's evil plan is to manipulate the wise men into leading him to Jesus so that he can kill Him. But God intervenes, warning the wise men through an angelic dream, and Jesus remains safe.

Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also."

When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. (Matthew 2:7-12)

God knows Herod's plan but He is not intimidated, for He has a higher plan for Jesus' life and death, and His plans cannot be thwarted. Herod is not able to kill the baby Jesus any more than the stone of the tomb is able to seal Jesus' body in the tomb on the third day.

So what does this mean to you? God's plans are sovereign, and He should have your ear. People may tell you that you are in line for the promotion or that you will never achieve that lofty goal you have, but remember that men do not have the last say over your life. Turn to God and ask Him what His plans are for you.

3. The evil plans of evil men are cowardly compared to the loving plans of a loving God. Matthew 2:1-19

Herod's plan to find the baby Jesus through the wise men is done in secret and by manipulation. Then he sends soldiers to kill little children! He is desperate to secure his kingship and each act is done in cowardice.

Compare his behavior to that of Jesus. Facing death on a cross, Jesus refuses to consider the possibility of walking away from God's plan (Matthew 16:23). He knows that torture and death await, but His love for mankind and desire to restore us to God is greater than fear.

There will be times you will be intimidated by people, laws, or circumstances which oppose your faith and oppose love. Will you be courageous and obedient? Find encouragement through your Savior, who knows exactly what you are going through, and cling to the courage He provides.

The Cast of Christmas

This 3-part series explores Baby Jesus and the secondary characters in the greatest love story ever told. In part 3 of The Cast of Christmas, Pastor Miles speaks about the role of villains in the Christmas story.

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