In this Chapter the Apostle St Mathew details 4 major things:
- About the reception given to the new born Messianic King – Homage from afar, hostility at home.
- Secondly about the place, Beth-lehem of Judea” was also called Ephrath or Ephratah. The town is five miles south of Jerusalem. Its name in Hebrew means “House of Bread.” This Judean city was the birthplace of King David, but not a popular town that GOD selected for HIS beloved Son to be born.
- A stir begins as soon as Jesus is born. HE has not spoken a word; nor a miracle performed; or not proclaimed a single doctrine; but ‘when Jesus was born,’ his influence upon the world is manifested.
- The Kingdom of God Hid from the Wise and Revealed unto Babes.
“Herod the king” was known as Herod the Great, and was the son of Antipater, an Edomite. A great ruler, administrator even admired by his foes. He was wealthy, politically gifted, intensely loyal and clever enough to remain in the good graces of successive Roman emperors.
In the Gospel, Apostle St. Matthew describes of distinguished wise men (in the ancient Greek is Magi) who visited Jesus after his birth. These wise men apparently studied the Hebrew Scriptures and found clear transcript of truth, the words of prophet Balaam: “A Star shall come out of Jacob; a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel” (Numbers 24:17, NKJV). On the night of Christ’s birth, a mysterious light appeared in the sky which became a luminous star that persisted in the western heavens. As the wise men tried to understand the meaning of the sacred writings, they determined to go in search of the Messiah.
It has been indeed remarkable that the shepherds did not miss their way; they came to Christ at once, while the wise men, even with a star to guide them, missed their way and went to Jerusalem inquiring at the palace of Herod. Very truly said “The Kingdom of God Hid from the Wise and Revealed unto Babes” St Mathews Chapter 11:25.
When the wise men inquired about “Where is he that is born King of the Jews”, at the palace of Herod, the king was troubled. The king gathered the Rabbis, the religious leaders of that day; the men who knew the law and knew of the promise of Messiah. The king was appraised on the prophecy by prophet Micah that Christ would be born in Bethlehem Ephratah (Micah 5:2).
Already being paranoid about threats to his rule, Herod, privately called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared, and asked them to go to Bethlehem, search for the young child; and when they have found the King of Jews, bring back the word again, for Herod to go and worship.
The wise men with good heart did listen the king & went ahead following the star in the east and was led to Jesus, not knowing that the king Herod was tricking them. When they came into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, worshipping him and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense and myrrh.
The “gold” recognized Jesus as God. The “frankincense” recognized Jesus as the perfect Lamb sacrifice. The “myrrh” recognized Jesus as the groom of the bride of Christ.
“Being warned of God”: A special divine revelation in the form of warning was given to the wise men in the form of a dream, instructing, the wise men did not return to Herod so they departed into their own country another way.