A Great slaughter and a Great Savior

In yet another attempt to help my kids (ages 12 and 10) get into the Scriptures, on February 4 we decided to read through the New Testament together in a year. So, with the best of intentions, our reading for that first night was Matthew 1 and 2.

I don’t know how many times I’ve read these chapters…and how many times I responded just like my daughter did that night. After she read, we began to dialogue. One of the first things she said was, “I am planning on journaling after I read, but I just couldn’t after I read these chapters…so and so was the father of so and so down to Jesus…and then Jesus was born, there was wise men” and it’s as if she said, “and yada, yada, yada.” And, it’s as if she said in a tween voice, “come on dad, didn’t we just celebrate Christmas just over a month ago? “Oh my gosh, do you think I’m that dumb that I would forget the story that quickly?”

But, instead of reading for information, I began to press her for transformation. I asked a version of the two questions that we were trained to ask in the Bible Study Methods class – “what does this passage say about mankind that requires God’s redemption?” and “what does this passage say about God that provides man’s redemption?”

As we glanced at the passage together, King Herod’s name came up. She said, in response to the first question, “Herod killed all the babies”. As if to say, “Herod is the extreme example of total and utter human depravity…who in their right mind would slaughter babies?

Then I asked, “Why did he do it?” She responded, “Because he wanted to be the only king.” As I held up the mirror of God’s word, I said, “Just like you, right?” At first, she tried to move out from behind the mirror. “I would never slaughter babies.” “But”, I said, “just like Herod, your heart’s inclination is to not like any King competing for the throne of your life.” She looked at the mirror and then looked at me with a sheepish grin on her face. She didn’t need to say a thing. The scriptures exposed her fallen condition (and mine).

But, as we continued, we saw that Herod needed the Savior he was trying to slaughter. And, we need the Lord that we try to dethrone. As much as we hate giving up the pursuits of self exultation, control, pride, rights, selfish ambition, and self glory, our deepest desire is ultimately only met in the Savior – where He is exulted…He takes control…He Humbles…He replaces our fight for rights and selfish ambitions with deep and sacrificial concern for others…and His glory is our greatest joy.

Oh, how we need the Savior we seek to slaughter.


  • In what ways have you recently seen an internal struggle to fight Christ for Lordship of your life?
  • How has Christ recently revealed to you His supremacy as the satisfaction that your heart ultimately longs for?