Malankara World


     A Wonderful Night: An Interpretation of Christmas

By James H. Snowden

XV. A Frightened King

The inquiry of the wise men startled Jerusalem and frightened Herod. The proud metropolis had not yet heard the news. The immortal honor of having given birth to the Christ had been denied to her haughty brow and had become humble Bethlehem’s imperishable crown. The very name of king gave Herod a terrible shock. He was a usurper steeped in crime and was ever trembling on his throne. No hunted, white-faced, Russian Czar ever feared nihilist’s bomb more than he feared rebellion’s revolt and assassin’s knife. Rebel after rebel he had crushed into spattered brains and blood, and here was rumor of another Rival born under the shadow of his throne. Herod was troubled and his terror sent a strange wave and shudder of fear through the city. So the same gospel that made angels sing and wise men worship and started good news out over the world, created consternation and trouble up in Herod’s palace and in his city. Christ came to give peace and joy, but his gospel is a sword to some. The good man’s presence is always the bad man’s condemnation and stirs hatred in his heart. Every good influence that falls upon us, according as we use it, brings either more joy or trouble, and the gospel itself is either a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death.


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