Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:
'"AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH,
ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH;
FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER
WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.'"
Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him."
After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.
So first, these nasty, smelly shepherds show up at the stable after God announced to them that the Savior was born. Now, some Magi from a distant land show up asking questions about the King of the Jews. This must have been a vast improvement over the shepherds. But I wonder, why not King Herod and his chief priests and scribes? Why did all the honor for our Lord come from those who either didn't matter or were not even from the same region? Could it be that those around didn't want to believe, didn't want to see, weren't as accepting as the others?
The Magi posed some problems for Herod. First, he had to acknowledge that there was another King in his territory. Was this person going to take over where he left off? Second, why didn't he know about this before now? How long had this king been in the area? Third, how could he get rid of this king, before trouble arose? King Herod wasn't going to share his kingdom. So he sent these Magi to Bethlehem and asked them to come back so he could worship the new king too. Well, we all know what happened. The Magi followed the star, found that place that Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus were and worshipped. Then they had a vision to not go back to Herod, but leave the country another way.
When King Herod realized that the Magi were not coming back, he went on a rampage, killing all the baby boys in Bethlehem that were two years of age and under. Luckily, God had warned Joseph and he took his family to Egypt until King Herod died.
The evil of this man was predicted in Jeremiah.
17Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:
18"A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH,
WEEPING AND GREAT MOURNING,
RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN;
AND SHE REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED,
BECAUSE THEY WERE NO MORE."
Jealousy gets you nowhere. Look at the jealousy King Herod showed toward a baby. A baby! This child was nothing more than an infant, who would one day take over the world, but not in the way that he thought. Today, give up your jealous behavior and know that God has enough room in his heart for you. No matter your circumstance.