Matthew 2 v 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed and all Jerusalem with him.
There are more than one Herod who feature in the New Testament story. The Herod mentioned in Matthew chapter 2 was Herod the great, so called because of the many magnificent buildings he erected, including the rebuilding of the temple of Jerusalem. His family tree is complicated. He was not a full Jew by descent but came from Edomite ancestry. He fought many battles and knew how to play his political cards so that he became a firm favourite of the Roman Emperor.
By the time Jesus was born, Herod had already been ruling for 40 years. His personal family background was filled with terror, intrigue and family assassinations. He had become a morbid and suspicious tyrant. He had his own sons as well as his wife murdered when he thought they were plotting against him. His suspicions and insanity grew to great proportions and he was given to murderous outbursts.
He was hated by the Jews but they could do nothing about him because he was an appointed King over Judea by the Roman Emperor.
This was the king to whom the men from the east went enquiring “Where is the one born King of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” This finally resulting in what has become known as the “murder of the innocent.” You can read about in Matthew 2 v 16 – 18.
And so it was that already as a young child Jesus had the forces of evil arrayed against him. Like Herod there are many people who feel threatened by the very existence of Jesus. If it is true that Jesus is King, then it means that each of us must respond to His kingship. It also implies that each ones philosophy of life has to be reviewed. If we have invented a philosophy based on the fact that we do not believe in Christ, then to acknowledge him as King means that our own philosophies are wrong!
For some people that is a hard pill to swallow. But better to face up to it and repent while the true King offers us forgiveness, love and compassion, than to wait until it is too late and the true King becomes our Judge.
Meditation: If it turns out that the coming of Jesus is the great historical fact of the ages, then can you think of what that event may mean to the way you look at life? Would you embrace the truth about him, or like Herod drive him way because He represents a threat to you and your lifestyle?