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Humble Hero

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    Herod’s Terrible Massacre

    In Jerusalem, Herod waited impatiently for the wise men to return. As time passed and they did not appear, he became suspicious. Had the rabbis seen through his plot, and had the wise men purposely avoided him? The thought made him furious. Through force he would make an example of this Child-King.HH 24.8

    Herod sent soldiers to Bethlehem with orders to put to death all the children two years old and under. The quiet homes of the City of David witnessed scenes that had been opened to the prophet six hundred years before:HH 24.9

    “A voice was heard in Ramah,
    Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
    Rachel weeping for her children,
    Refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
    HH 25.1

    The Jews had brought this disaster on themselves by rejecting the Holy Spirit, their only Shield. They had searched for prophecies that they could interpret to exalt themselves and show how God despised other nations. It was their proud boast that the Messiah was to come as a king and trample down the heathen in His anger. In this way, they stirred up the hatred of their rulers. Through their misrepresentation of Christ’s mission, Satan had intended to bring about the Savior’s destruction, but instead it returned on their own heads.HH 25.2

    Soon after the slaughter of the children, Herod died a fearful death. Joseph was still in Egypt, and now an angel told him to return to Israel. Thinking of Jesus as the Heir to David’s throne, Joseph wanted to make his home in Bethlehem. But when he learned that Archelaus had been made king in Judea in place of his father, he feared that the son might carry out the father’s evil intentions.HH 25.3

    God directed Joseph to a place of safety, Nazareth, his former home. For nearly thirty years, Jesus lived here, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, ‘He shall be called a Nazarene.’” Galilee had a much larger mixture of foreign inhabitants than Judea, so there was less interest in matters relating especially to the Jews.HH 25.4

    This was the Savior’s reception when He came to earth. God could not entrust His beloved Son to human beings, even while carrying forward His work for their salvation! He commissioned angels to accompany Jesus and protect Him until He could accomplish His mission and die by the hands of those whom He came to save.HH 25.5

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