Mt 2:3 When Herod the king had heard [these things], he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
I can understand why Herod the king was troubled for he has received news of a rival. In his mind, there has been born one that would take his place and his kingdom would be under the rule of another. That would bring an end to his life and the lives of any son or sons he had. Another troubling aspect of the King of the Jews being born was that crowned heads cannot endure to think of a rival.
The thing that is not as easily understood is why all Jerusalem might be troubled with him. Had they not been looking for a Deliverer and King since the promise was first made to Eve? What could possibly trouble the Jews, who, at this time had been brought under the authority of the Roman government, when they heard the news that the King of the Jews had been born? Julius Caesar formulated a policy that the Jews could follow their traditional religious practices. Judaism had the status of a permitted religion throughout the Roman Empire. In the first century, the Jews lived across the Roman Empire in relative harmony and were protected by Rome and allowed to continue their religion.
As long as our living conditions are somewhat favorable, there is quietness about us, and no disturbances in our lives, we don’t want anything which might upset that. If our nest is soft, we aren’t interested in flying. Deut. 32:11 The little eaglet sitting upon soft feathers and daily having its food brought will only leave that place of comfort and ease by the mother eagle stirring up her nest so the little ones will not have a soft nest. The Jews had a relatively soft nest. They had everything they needed and had the freedom to continue their religious services without any interference from the Roman government. A King might upset their normal lives. He would have the power to make demands upon them and would be in control of their lives. They didn’t want or need that for things were fine and they feared a King would change this.
The sad thing in professing Christianity today is that one may receive Christ as Savior without Him ever becoming their Lord and King. If perhaps some future day, they might decide upon a greater dedication, they could then make Him their Lord. Sad indeed is this so-called truth where man holds the power to either allow the Lord to hold that office in his life, or he can enter heaven with Christ only as his Savior. It is no great marvel that multitudes have supposedly been swept into the kingdom of God based upon a faulty premise of receiving Christ, yet are left to live without the King making any great demands upon their life or way of living. Would not the majority of professing Christians be troubled if one comes along proclaiming that the King has arrived and their only hope of eternal life is being born into His Kingdom and being brought into complete subjection to His reign?
John 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
Their promotion of Jesus to the status of a King had nothing to do with the inward disposition of their hearts, their walk before God, or any alterations in their religious ceremonies. These were all in accordance to their interpretation of God’s law. “We are all good here; all we need is a King to provide things for us.”
John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
Many are they that would receive Jesus as a Savior and King to deliver them from the consequence and penalty of sin and to provide them with the benefits of plenty to eat and a comfortable life here, but to interfere with their religious ways and bring them to a greater devotion of heart was that which they did not need or want. That’s about what our public gatherings have been reduced to; tell me how to be happier here; what I need to do promote my status in life; or produce a climate in my church attendance which entertains and allows me to leave feeling good about myself. I don’t need some preacher demanding of me a greater devotion or to continuously be weeding my garden where the plants of love and reverence grow without the weeds of life choking them. Just expound the letter of the law without making any personal applications to my way of living. The language of most today that have anything to do with religion is, “I don’t need a King; I have a Savior and that is all that is required of me to enter heaven.”
Does any man relinquish his gods easily; have one set up His domain in a heart that has been totally given to self; or a King come along that would change his course of living and take from him those things of delight? There is no difference in the religious climate of America than was in the Jews when Christ was born. If a messenger was sent to the majority of religious places of ‘worship’ and carried with him the news that the King of the Jews had been born, it would trouble most.
Whether now or in eternity, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is LORD. The difference between a Christian and a professor is that the former has, in this life, bowed the heart in loving and complete surrender to the KING of glory. A Christian is an individual that has felt a degree of his or her sinfulness, guilt, and rightful condemnation before a holy God. These gladly embrace a King who has the power to deliver them not only from hell but their sinfulness.