You Were so Close

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. ~ Matthew 2:3

Everyone has had the experience of going to look for something and not be able to find it, only to have someone else point out that it was right there in front of us the whole time. For some reason we just didn’t see it. It makes us feel foolish because, for whatever reason, we were unable to see what was right in front of our faces. We missed it.

This is the tragedy of King Herod. He was of Jewish descent, he knew of the Messiah and God’s promise to save His people. His palace, Herodium, was visible from Bethlehem only three miles away. And yet he completely missed the coming of the Savior. He wasn’t even looking. It wasn’t until two years later when men from hundreds of miles away showed up, men who had been looking, that Herod even had an inkling of what had happened. They pointed out what had happened right under his nose and he hadn’t even noticed. He wouldn’t even look.

It was too far for Herod to go. Not the three miles to Bethlehem, but the twelve inches between his head and his heart. He couldn’t make room in his heart for another king. He couldn’t see the amazing gift that was given to him and to all his people. Incredibly, for all his power, he was threatened by a baby. And so he missed it. I sometimes wonder what might have changed if Herod had been willing to see what was right in front of him.

Herod is not typically the person we focus on at Christmas; yet, his story, while uncomfortable, is perfect for Christmas Eve. It reminds us that we can be so close and still miss the amazing gift of the Savior. It is all there, right in front of us in the lights, the music, the decorations – all pointing to Jesus. But sometimes we miss it. It can become too familiar, we can become too distracted and we can miss what is right in front of us. So today let’s take a breath. Slow down. See the incredible gift that God has given us in Jesus and go whatever distance we must to find Him and worship.

Read Matthew 2:1-12

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