A World of Rivals

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Herod arrived in Rome at an important moment in history. The army of the powerful Parthian empire had invaded Syria (which included Jerusalem). Herod had escaped the invasion, and Rome was looking for solutions.

Soon after his arrival in 40 BC, Herod (who became known as “the Great”) met with Mark Antony, a member of Rome’s ruling Triumvirate. Looking for someone he could trust to fight against the Parthians and serve him faithfully, Antony was impressed with Herod’s resourcefulness and gave Herod his backing.

But in the years to come, Herod was to prove even more resourceful. He managed to retain Rome’s approval even though Antony was defeated by Octavian (who we know as “Caesar Augustus”). He continued to demonstrate a ruthless determination to eliminate all rivals. Among his actions, he had his wife killed, and later had three of his own sons put to death.

This was the man the magi confronted in Jerusalem, perhaps innocently, describing how they had come looking for the one “who has been born King of the Jews.” Herod thought like a man concerned with his career. Eliminating potential rivals. Never really trusting anyone. Ruthlessly concerned about himself.

Today, many in the world have the same kind of focus. People in politics and business. Perhaps even in the church. But Jesus gave us a completely different example. He “emptied Himself,” took on “the form of a bond-servant,” and humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8).

In your life, seek to follow the example of Jesus. The path of humility, service, and sacrifice.