Herod was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him

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Matthew 2:1 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 

We are told that when he learned of Jesus’ birth, King Herod “was frightened and all Jerusalem with him”. Herod was frightened by the possibility this child might eventually threaten his rule. The people were frightened because they knew the drastic measures some rulers might take to secure their thrones. In this case, Herod would have all the young male children of his kingdom put to death to make sure the one child didn’t survive. It’s an act of brutality that is hard to imagine.

I’d like to think people in our day would refrain from such barbarity, but sometimes I wonder. It can seem that politicians will do and say just about anything to cling to office. And we who are the governed are the victims. If you’ve ever watched the show “House of Cards” you’ve seen a dramatized/exaggerated version of this phenomenon. Lord, protect us from unscrupulous leaders more concerned with their own survival than the well-being of the people in their charge. Amen.

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