"Where is the one," they asked, "who has been born to be the king of the Jews? We have seen his star rising in the east, and we have come to worship him." When King Herod heard this, he was very disturbed, and the whole of Jerusalem was as well. He called together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, and inquired from them where the Messiah was to be born. "In Bethlehem of Judea," they replied. "That's what it says in the prophet:" Matthew 2:2-5
It would have been very interesting to have been a fly on the wall in these conversations. I wonder what went through the minds of the Magi when they discovered the surprise of Herod upon their arrival and inquiry. Herod didn't know about the birth of a new royal child?? What's up with that? And when Herod came back and asked them to seek out the child on his behalf, were they not suspicious? Did they really believe the goodwill intentions of Herod? And what about those chief priests and scribes? We're they part of the "all Jerusalem" that was "disturbed" by the arrival and inquiry of the Magi? I suspect they were. They appear to be on the inside counsel of King Herod and appear to be assisting him and sniffing out this threat to his throne. This scenario reminds of times past and present when official leadership of "the church" has compromised or even sold out to the powers that be in order to protect their own power and position. This happened in Romania when the Communists invaded and took over. This happened when Japan briefly ruled over what is now North Korea. This happens today with some in the Government sanctioned churches in China today. It is happening in many mainline denominations here in the USA as church leaders cower under the pressure to support unnatural and ungodly sexuality. The closer we get to power in the way the spirit of the world thinks of power, the greater the temptation to collude with it rather than remain faithful to our higher calling of God's government. Revolutions are very upsetting things and often times many people get hurt in them. But there is a time and a place for everything and this was God's timing and place for a revolution. It appears that the leadership in Judea was not on board. What about us today? In many places around the world, the Church is persecuted. Yet even in a place where the persecution is a raging fire, like North Korea, there is an attempt to appear to the world as tolerant, freedom loving people. North Korea, China, and many other oppressive regimes have officially sanctioned "Christian" churches but they are heavily monitored, restricted and controlled. Every pastor or priest must pass government scrutiny and approval. The "church" in these cases are rendered nearly entirely ineffective. The true leadership of the true Church tends to fall into the hands of men and women who, like the Apostles in the book of Acts are "untrained and uneducated." This is what the apostle Paul referred to when he said that "God uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; and the weak and despised things to shame the strong." 1 Corinthians 1:27. Often the true work of God falls into the hands of young peasant families and rural Shepherds, sent out to announce and embody God's kingdom. We should take note of this and remember that God's solutions to the world's problems is not necessarily to fix "them" but to send you and me and all of those, rich or poor, weak or strong, who are willing to surrender to His way of doing power. The result may be that we too will be on the run from the King Herods of the world, but we will be running a race that has already been won. Jesus is Lord! Jesus is King! Jesus is renewing and resurrecting everything. Let us make a run for it or else we will be found among those who make plans in dark rooms to murder innocent children (Matthew 2:16) in order to protect "our" power. There are two powers in the world: violence and servanthood. Which will you choose? It is in your power to decide.