We recently celebrated Epihany last Sunday that celebrated the Wise Men coming to worship the baby Jesus. As glorious as the birth story is, it gives rise to one of the most horrendous events in the Bible:
- Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the wise men,
- was exceedingly angry, and sent out, and killed all the male children
- who were in Bethlehem and in all the surrounding countryside, from
- two years old and under, according to the exact time which he had
- learned from the wise men. (Matthew 2:16)
The number of children murdered because an evil man’s fear of the birth of Jesus has been speculated upon for years. Some estimates range into the thousands, but Biblical scholars say this is unrealistic given the probable population of Bethlehem at the time… about 300 adults. Their estimate is 10 to 20 young boys, two years old and under were murdered.
The number is not important. The fact that it happened is recognition that the battle between good and evil was and still is a reality. Whether we like it or not, we have to choose which side of this battle we will join.