Listen to today’s devo!

Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him. (Matt. 2:8)

Every good story has a villain. In the Christmas story, Herod the Great occupied center stage as the villain. In some ways he deserved the title “Herod the Great.” He was the only ruler of Palestine who kept the peace. History books describe him as a great builder; he built the temple in Jerusalem. He also had a reputation for generosity. In times of difficulty, he remitted the taxes to make things easier for the people.

But Herod’s one terrible flaw was his suspicious nature. If he suspected anyone as a rival to his power, he promptly had the person eliminated. He murdered his wife and her mother. He also ordered the assassination of three of his sons. Augustus, the Roman emperor, said it was safer to be Herod’s pig than to be Herod’s son.

You can understand how he felt upon hearing that the wise men came inquiring about the new king of the Jews. Herod spared no effort to track down this king and kill him. But God warned the wise men to return home without reporting to Herod. And Joseph, warned in a dream, fled to Egypt and kept the Christ child safe.

Of all the main characters in the story of Christmas, only Herod did not go to Bethlehem. He was the man who missed Christmas. Will you miss Christmas?

Receive the Christ of Christmas with the joy and forgiveness he brings.

Ron McClung has completed fifty-four years of ministry with The Wesleyan Church. He and his wife, Carol, enjoy spending time with their two sons, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.