When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 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. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
“‘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: 3 – 6
Being summoned by King Herod was a very scary thing as he was renowned locally for being a cruel and vindictive man who would go to any length to protect his power. How then do you answer him when what you have to tell him could be construed as bad news? How do you balance your own safety, and security versus being true to the truth?
On the surface it’s a simple question with a simple answer yet below the surface the question is why did he want to know this and why now? Did it have anything to do with the strange visitors who had arrived from the east or the rumour about a messiah and other weird stuff going on in Bethlehem? Do you think the chief priests had any idea Herod would use their answer to kill all the children in Bethlehem?
Many times we are all tempted to take the easy path. To safeguard ourselves at the expense of others but that has never been the Christian way. At the very heart of our faith is the idea of sacrifice. Of limiting ourselves for the benefit of others. Jesus sacrificed himself for us. We in turn are meant to live a sacrificial life for God.
Prayer: Lord help me to see my life as part of your gift to the world. Help me to see opportunities to demonstrate the love you have for the people of this world. Help me to be willing to sacrifice even when I don’t want to.
Action: What can you do today to demonstrate God’s love and care for another person?