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Baby Jesus is Lord!

December 29, 2013

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First Sunday After Christmas                      Trinity Lutheran Church

29 December 2013                                           Murdock, NE


+Jesu Juva +

Matthew 2:13-23






Such preaching, as usual, is meant to lead you to … repentance – contrition and faith.  And then as the new creation spelled F-A-I-T-H you will be the Lord’s instrument for good in the world to those who need your help.


Well, you’ve been cautioned.  Are you ready to go?  OK.  The front porch of the sermon has become too long.  So here goes.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the church!


Let me tell you about the little lords of this past century.  Josef Stalin purposely starved, exiled and exterminated about 12 million Ukrainians in the 1930s to create a workers’ paradise called the Soviet Union.  Adolf Hitler’s utopian dream to create a Third Reich made up of a new and perfect humanity led to the slaughter of at least 6 million Jews in Germany and Poland in the 1940s.  In order to achieve a Leninist heaven on earth in the 1970s, Pol Pot and his “Red Khmers” tortured, starved and executed up to 3 million Cambodians.


It was “legal” in the 1930s Soviet Union, 1940s Germany, and 1970s Cambodia to torture, starve, gas, decapitate, impale or shoot millions of people in the back of the head because the little kingdoms in which these tyrants lived had to be fundamentally transformed for “the better.”  The end justified the means.  And only they could do it! Therefore, Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot acted as if they were little divinities – almighty gods on the earth.


Consequently, they tolerate no rivals!  The First Commandment only applies to them:  You shall have no other gods than Stalin, Hitler or Pol Pot.    Reminds me of the current North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un who on a whim or in drunken tirades, hands his uncle, other family members and political aides over to execution because they dare to dream different dreams than the regime.  And it’s all “legal” and “legit” because Kim Jung-Un declares it to be.


Now let me tell you about another brutal totalitarian from the first century who believed the First Commandment was only about him.  His name is Herod the Great.  He brooked no rivals to his throne.  You shall fear, love and trust in Herod the Great above all things!  Anyone that posed a threat to His First Commandment god-like position or rule — he or she just conveniently disappeared.  Seriously.  He’s utterly ruthless.  He makes Tony Soprano look like a polite little schoolgirl from Elmwood-Murdock!


Many called Herod a madman.  And they were right.  He murdered his wife, three sons, his mother-in-law, brother-in-law, an uncle, many rabbis and dozens of others.  He was prepared to commit any crime in order to gratify his unbounded ambition.  No rivals.  No competition.  Caesar Augustus, tongue in cheek, said that it was better to be Herod’s pet pig than his son!


And now Herod is troubled.  Distressed.  Disturbed.  When lord Herod is anxious all metropolitan Jerusalem should be worried as well.  He’s always just one rail away from another train wreck. He’s heard of a new king!  A rival!  The Magi have come for the new King’s coronation.  The Baby is Lord – not Herod!  The First Commandment God as prophesied by the prophet Micah has arrived.  Led by the star, dignitaries from the East have come to worship the “newborn king of the Jews.”


Worship?  Only lord Herod is to be worshipped!  “Go, look really hard for the child, find him and tell me where he’s at so that I may worship him too.”


Yeah, right!  Not hardly.  Like that’s going to happen!  Notice that Herod said, “child,” not “king”!  He could not bring himself to say:  “Go and find the newborn king!”


When the Magi don’t return – when they will not be used as Herod’s pawns – to give up the location of the TRUE DIVINE King – First Commandment Baby Jesus – Herod is furious!   He flies off the handle.  The order is given.  The newborn “King of the Jews” must not be allowed to survive.  He cannot be a rival to Herod’s throne.


So, all the infant boys in and around Bethlehem are to be properly dealt with.  Handled.  No doubt Herod called the executive order: The Bethlehem Baby Boy Initiative.  Or perhaps: The Loving and Honoring King Herod Act.  Or possibly: The Patriotic Protection of the Realm Statute.   All signed with the autograph:  “Your loving and benevolent Herod the Great.”  Nice euphemisms. Politico spin for: THE BABY BOYS MUST BE ELIMINATED.  PUT TO THE SWORD.  MURDERED.  After all, there can only be one lord, one king!  And it’s all “legal” because it comes from the mouth of Herod the Great!


However, when Baby King Jesus arrives Herod’s “sovereignty” or “lordship” is over. And so is yours!  His wanting to be like God is old and has come to an end. And so has yours!  Baby King Jesus is Lord.  Jesus is the one true God.  Herod and you are not.


Notice how deep and dark sin is.  Herod gives us a prime example.  Original sin’s reaction and its spilling out all over the place to the fact that Baby King Jesus is Lord is rebellion.  The old Adamic self reacts violently when he is told, “Jesus is Lord and you are not,” or “Jesus is King – you are not.”


Herod is so curved in on himself – so focused on himself – that He does his darndest to kill a Baby!  He puts all his political and military muscle to massacre the Messiah!  And if there’s collateral damage – slaughtering dozens of other baby boys – he doesn’t care.  Murder is “worth it” if it preserves his lordship.  Herod “gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under.”   


This is a huge tragedy.  A Baby Boy has become an inconvenience, a bother, a nuisance, a hassle, a problem.  So He must be … brutally done away with.


Reminds us of the tragic murder of at least 50 million babies in our country since 1973 for the same reasons and more.  We excuse it with:  “It’s the law of the land.”  Or we are intimidated with the bullying idolatrous canard:  “The woman’s right to choose can never be threatened, violated or outlawed.”  As if the very discussion let alone the working to reverse Roe vs. Wade is the most insidious, sinister and diabolical hate speech the universe has ever known.  So curved on themselves, the world is full of Herods and Herodesses that will stop at nothing to murder their own offspring in order to insure that they conveniently reign as little lords.  As if they are divines who call all the shots and then demonize, destroy and damn anyone who opposes their “lordship.”


Is Roe vs. Wade the Lord’s infallible, inerrant Word? Hmm?  Of course it isn’t.  Then why do we act like it is?  The Lord’s Word is very clear:  “You shall not murder.”  And that Commandment flows the First.  Break the Fifth and you break the First.


We need to repent for our active participation in such sin and then use the only Lord, Jesus the Christ, against our sin for its forgiveness.  Do not despair.  He died for all sin.  He didn’t leave such sin out of His atoning death.  No sin, even this one, is too big for Him.


We also need to repent for our inactivity when we just stand by and let the defenseless little ones be viciously destroyed.  In our apathy or indifference to defend the weak and helpless we have sinned against the little ones.  We break the Fifth Commandment when we do not do anything to protect them or come to their aid.  Do you realize that?  It’s true.  Repent of your lack of concern and believe that the blood of Jesus cleanses and restores sinners.  So that He now has beneficial use for you in the world for the helpless and defenseless.


Such good use of you His redeemed people looks like this.  That we Christians speak truth to power both privately and publicly, secularly and in the church.  We should not abandon the public square or the churh and leave them naked.  It is time for us to tell the Herods and Herodesses of this world as well as the “bishops” and church leaders that “legalized” abortion cannot continue.  We must notify them that while it may be “legal” it does not please the Lord and that it is sin.  We should calmly, sternly and categorically declare to these Herods and Herodesses, “bishops” and church leaders, to their faces that they too must repent before it is too late when they will face the Day when Jesus returns to judge the living and the dead.


It is also time for us to step up to the plate in order to actively work to protect the unborn.  Seriously!  But how?  Well, there are many ways.  I’ll mention a few.  First, pray.  Pray to the Lord that He will raise up men and women who will govern according to God’s will.  Second, in your God-given vocations speak, teach, and work.  As parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents teach the kids in your families and congregation that life is a gift from the Lord.  As citizens vote!  Vote for and lawfully support those who protect life.  Vote against and lawfully work against politicians and candidates who are hell-bent on making sure that mass murder remains legal.


Herod’s order was carried out.


This is a massive crisis in the history of the world and for you.  Satan uses Herod as his instrument to keep the true Baby King from being the First Commandment God for you and for your salvation.  If Herod, in his “infanticidical” madness, can eliminate Baby Boy King Jesus, then there will be no Good Friday.  No enthronement of the true King on the cross.  No reign of His forgiveness for sinners through His divine Blood that drips and flows from His crucified and slain divine Body.


The family escapes to Egypt and returns after Herod is dead. “And so was fulfilled what the Lord has said through the prophet:  ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.’”


God’s Son, Baby Jesus, provides the new and greater Exodus!  He is King.  In fact, He is God in the flesh.  First Commandment God FOR YOU.  He is your Lord.  He has redeemed you, His creatures, from all sins, from death and the power of the devil with His Good Friday dying.


That too fulfilled what was said through the prophets – it was done according to God’s Word.  So that you now live in His kingdom by faith and that you sacrificially love other in this world – serving and protecting the unborn in and through your various vocations.  Fearing and loving God so that you do not hurt or harm your neighbor in his body but help and support him in every physical need.  That’s part of God’s good use for you now as His instrument where you live.


In the Name of Jesus.



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