Week of January 6 - Day 2

Day 2 Read: Matthew 2:3-8

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”

Reflect: Who did Herod turn to for insight and strategy on how to deal with the birth of Christ?

Consider: Herod was not the rightful king from the line of David. In fact, he was not even a descendant of Jacob, but was descended from Esau and thus was an Edomite. (He reigned over Palestine from 37 b.c. to 4 b.c.) This fact caused most of the Jews to hate him and never truly to accept him as king, even though he did much for the country. If someone had been rightfully born king, then Herod’s job was in jeopardy.[1]

Respond: Why did Herod run to the chief priests and scribes for answers? When you face challenging situations, do you seek counsel from people who will speak truth or people who will confirm what you want to hear? The more we love controlling our own lives, the harder it is when we lose control. What is a natural first reaction when your personal “empire” feels threatened?

[1] Louis A. Barbieri, Jr., “Matthew,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 21–22.