God’s intervention can be threatening. When Moses went to Pharoah to ask for the release of the Hebrew people, Pharoah felt threatened. God had to send ten plagues to force Pharoah to release the people. Something similar happened when the wise men inquired about the new king to Herod. Matthew 2: 3 King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem.
Why Was Herod Threatened?
Herod was paranoid and even killed family members he thought would threaten his power base. He was not a Jew by birth, as he was of Esau’s lineage, not Jacob’s. But Herod claimed to be a Jew by religion and tried to keep the Jews happy. He rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem at great expense.
Rome also appointed Herod to his position. Many Jews saw Herod as a usurper, and this made many Jews unhappy. There was no room for two kings in his realm, and he did not want the Jews to unite against someone who might genuinely be a king of the Jews. He had heard rumors from the Jews that a Messiah would come soon.
Why Were the People of Jerusalem Disturbed?
The Jewish leadership had forged a working relationship with Herod. They knew how ruthless he could be and did not want to upset the situation. The wise men were Gentiles; why would they know something about a Jewish king? Most Jews expected the Messiah to be a great military leader and a ruler like King David. They weren’t ready for a baby to possibly upset the tentative peace they had made with Rome.
Jesus, the Troublemaker
When the people heard about the birth of a Jewish king, there was an immediate reaction. Since they were looking for a Messiah, we would think there would be joy and anticipation of what this baby would do. Instead, the news startled and disturbed Herod and all of Jerusalem.
When Jesus intervenes in our lives, we also react. Jesus fills some spiritual longings in some, while others are fearful and uneasy. Either way, we have a choice to do something with the news that Jesus is Lord. For Jesus didn’t stay in the manger. He grew into a man, ministered to the people, and then died on the cross for our sins. His resurrection gives us the promise of eternal life as we believe in Him. For this, He deserves to be worshipped.
To hear how God’s Intervention can be threatening, listen here: