After Jesus had been born, wise men…came to Jerusalem and asked, “where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the West.”
When King Herod heard about the birth of the true Jewish king he was delighted, and threw a party for all Jerusalem in celebration. At the party he announced, “I’ve seen the error of my ways! Before I sought to hold on to my throne through murder – even killing my wife and two of my sons! But now I see that this throne was never mine to keep. Therefore, I hereby step down and give my throne to the One who is greater.” Not the Bible: The Ungospel of Matthew 2:1-3
It’s funny how we can read this story again and again and never think of what could have happened if Herod had responded in a godly manner.
Isn’t it shocking? Isn’t it also beautiful?
We can judge Herod for his actions, but the truth is that we are all like Him when it comes to wanting to be first, to be in charge, to do what we want. When Jesus comes and wants to be Lord of a particular area of our lives that we don’t want to relinquish, we refuse and kill off that thought. We don’t want to step aside and give up our throne.
But if we do respond positively then what possibilities are open to us – how different would our lives become?
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
As I’m writing this I know that there are some (including myself) who are holding back on letting Jesus take the throne in areas of your life. Let’s acknowledge those honestly now and let Him have His way.