Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 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.’”
Comment: We don’t know how long after Jesus was born these gentlemen arrived. We don’t know how many there were or how how long that it took them to get to Jerusalem. They no doubt went to Jerusalem because that was where the king, Herod, lived. But Herod was not in the line, the ancestry, from which the promised Messiah was to come, and he knew that the babe of which these men spoke was not in his palace. Herod a Roman citizen, ethnically an Arab, but a ‘practising’ Jew. He knew enough to know that the word ‘Christ’ meant ‘Messiah’ and filled with anger, fear and determination enquired of the religious leaders where the Messiah was to be born. They knew their prophesies and quoting Micah ch 5 v2, they informed Herod ‘Bethlehem’. So now Herod knows the birthplace and will no doubt share it with his visitors. But what will he say to them?
Prayer: Help me never to speak with a forked-tongue, my God.