When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
A Different Kind of King
Herod the Great ruled the region of Judea from 37 B.C. to 4 B.C. He is known for his many great building projects, including his massive expansion of the temple complex in Jerusalem. He was also famously jealous and paranoid. Whenever he suspected that someone was becoming a threat to his power, he wasted no time in having that person killed. Victims of his murderous paranoia included his brother-in-law, mother-in-law, wife, and three of his sons.
So, it is no wonder that when Herod heard that some new King of the Jews had been born, he was disturbed. It also is no wonder that all Jerusalem was troubled right along with him. The people of Jerusalem knew what Herod was capable of. They knew that news of the birth of some supposed rival to Herod’s throne could not mean anything good.
Neither Herod nor the people of Jerusalem had any reason to be disturbed, however. The one who was born King of the Jews posed no threat to Herod’s rule over Judea. In fact, this newborn king had no designs at all on holding any sort of earthly authority. He was a King, to be sure. But he was a different kind of king than Herod was. Herod was an earthly king ruling an earthly kingdom. Jesus, the king whom the Magi were seeking, was a heavenly King ruling a heavenly kingdom.
Jesus’s kingdom does not occupy any territory that you can locate on a map. Rather, his kingdom is his rule in the hearts of his people through faith. His kingdom is established in a person’s heart when the Holy Spirit, working through the good news of Jesus, leads that person to trust in Jesus as their Savior. And Jesus’ kingdom spreads, not through military conquest, but as more and more people hear the good news of Jesus and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, also come to trust in Jesus as their Savior.
Jesus’ kingdom has extended to you also, as God the Holy Spirit has led you to trust in Jesus as your Savior. Through faith in Jesus, you are a member of his kingdom and a citizen of heaven.
King Jesus, reign always in my heart through faith. Amen.