Evil in High Places

What news could upset such powerful people? Wise men had come from the East, following a star which they considered to point to a new-born child, who was king of the Jews. Herod knew the child was not his, and thus trembled with fear. What new rival had appeared on the scene? Why would scholars from the East – perhaps Persia, or even China – think that a certain star announced the birth of another king for the Jews? Herod was not a Jew. He came from Idumea, formerly called Edom, and was a descendant of Esau, the brother of Jacob. He knew that he had no right to sit on the throne of David. But why were the Jewish leaders also troubled? (“All Jerusalem” probably refers to chief priests and scribes whom Herod summoned for advice.) The priests also knew that they had no real right to rule the Temple, for they had received their office wrongly. Perhaps this new king would remove them. The scribes were teachers of the Law of God. Did they fear that this king would repeal the mass of human traditions they had added to God’s Word? So, instead of praising God for fulfilling His promise to send a Messiah, and rejoicing that even foreigners were coming to worship Him, the powerful men trembled with fear. That is one reason Jesus was born: To dethrone wicked rulers when He returns to judge the living and the dead. He came also to die for both them and us, since “there is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10).