In recognizing Matthew 2:1-16, we make a discovery about Christmas truth. To me it is interesting how that even the unbelievers and the evil can present truth.
King Herod was surrounded by threats and part of family rivalries and jealousy. He was a very insecure person. He was cruel, cunning. He had a bloodied rule that he killed three of his sons, his wife, and various kinsman. He would order the death of anyone at the slightest suspicion. It is not an exaggeration to say that he was the greatest criminal of the kingdom. What is so sad is that, as he would tell the Christmas story, he became so close to the truth and did not hear his own words.
He recognized that everyone would have a king in their life. In his case he wanted to be the king over everyone. However, he did not have the heart of the people. He had no spiritual depth. All that concerned him was that there was a king and he wanted to be that potentate. What he missed was that the real King of Kings had just been born from heaven.
It was his intention to kill anyone that was a threat to his reign. That is why he killed so many of his own family. His Christmas observation was that everyone, anyone can only have one king at a time. When Jesus came and was born as a baby in the manger, Christ’s intent was to provide the sacrifice of his own body for the sins of everyone and all they had to do was to recognize him as the king over their lives.
King Herod wanted the three wise men to go and find the exact location where Jesus was born and told the wisemen that he too wanted to go and worship baby Jesus. Naturally, this was a lie so that he could find how to once again eliminate his competition. The thing that the shepherds and the wise men had in common was that all they had to do was to seek and they would find. That is true of everyone today. If they would open their hearts in faith, Jesus would be their king and Savior.
King Herod wanted to know what information had been prophesied about Jesus for his birth. He turned to those people that were supposed to be knowledgeable. They quoted Old Testament Scripture that said the little town of Bethlehem is where God said Jesus would be born. So, King Herod relied on the word of God to tell him about Jesus. So, we must accept that Jesus was the fulfillment of hundreds of Old Testament prophecies such that there would be no coincidence concerning the birth of Jesus.
King Herod entertained the visit of the wisemen who had been following a star. It was their mistake to go to the palace because they assumed that would be the natural location for the birth of Jesus. When they discovered that Herod had no knowledge of Jesus either in fact or prophecy, they resumed their travels and following the star. God has a star for each of us to follow. He wants to lead us. He wants to show us his goodwill. Sometimes that revelation could be miraculous, but more than likely it is through a set of circumstances that God is speaking to us as our own personal star.
In trying to deceive the wisemen, King Herod asked them to come back to him so that he could also worship the new King. Of course, this was a line. He had no intention of worshiping Jesus. In making this statement about worship, he does tell us a Christmas truth. That truth is that Jesus is to be worshiped. We must not take him for granted nor assume on his character and mission. The importance of Christmas is that God selected to put himself into a human body so that body could be sacrificed on the cross and heal the broken relationship between humans and himself.
It is important that we do not follow the example of King Herod, just notice the truth that he inadvertently shared with all the world through Scripture. He was guilty of self-deception. We cannot assume upon Jesus. We must recall that many centuries ago God made the way for our salvation.