4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”(Matthew 2:4-6)
Whereas the Magi (or ‘wise men’) were seeking Jesus, King Herod was seeking information. It might seem desperate; perhaps it was. It seems entirely normal for him to feel defensive and threatened. So, in an attempt to protect himself, he chose to seek out his threat and eliminate him.
He gathered around him people that he trusted. He asked them a direct question, to which he was expecting an honest and accurate answer. He trusted them to tell the truth.
Do you think he breathed a sigh of relief? After all this ruler was going to shepherd people, and what’s ‘kingly’ about that? Was this ruler really going to be a threat to a king? Even if King Herod was concerned, I doubt he showed it.
Of course, Jesus did grow up to be King of kings – the Shepherd King. But, He is Lord and King in a very different way to King Herod. Jesus’ power is not dominant. He will not force you to obey Him. He will not barge in to your life and expect you to worship Him. He waits patiently for people to seek Him. He’s like a loving shepherd waiting for nervous lambs to approach and trust. If you would like to follow Jesus, He’d love to lead you. He’s the perfect Shepherd King.
This is part 23 of 31 daily reflections for December 2017.
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