“He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of the law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote….” Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and …..told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find Him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship Him, too!”
King Herod was sadly a man who lived in fear of his throne being usurped. He knew of the prophecies concerning the birth of Jesus the Messiah and was filled with jealously and hatred towards to Him. Herod’s jealously and hatred towards the ‘Messiah’ was so great that he ordered all the boys under 2 years old, in and around Bethlehem, to be executed.
Interestingly, the depth of Herod’s understanding of who the Messiah was meant to be, must have been greater than what we can read of in the text. He cunningly try to out-wit the wise man, stating that he too wanted to worship the new born ‘King’, but through God’s intervention they did not return to Herod (which added to his wrath). Yet Herod’s real intention was to wipe out the Man that would bring freedom and liberate the Jews from the Roman oppression, and in doing so, take Herod’s throne. Even more amazing, is the fact the leading priests and teachers of the law, also all knew of the prophecies regarding the birth of the Messiah.
Yet just like Herod, they too misunderstood who Jesus was and what He came to do. So much so that their eyes were blinded to see Jesus for who He really was… Emmanuel, God with us. They missed an opportunity to have a relationship with God, they missed an opportunity to experience God’s love and most importantly, they missed an opportunity to know God’s forgiveness of sins through His Son Jesus Christ, the God who saves.
Let us make sure that we too do not miss out on who Jesus was and is, and why He came to the earth. We can know all the prophecies in the world concerning Jesus’ birth but if our eyes are not open to see Him, we will miss Him, just like Herod and the priests.