A reading and reflection on Matthew 2:1-6; 16-18
1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: 6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'” …
…16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: 18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
The Ruler has come, the Shepherd of God’s people: Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, the King!
Herod was set to kill him, to wipe out God’s chosen King. So too were Israel’s religious leaders who had Jesus killed.
But God allowed the anger and hatred, their murderous intent to succeed, to fulfil the purpose for which Jesus came: “to save His people from their sins”.
But only in His time. Children were murdered here while the baby Jesus was rescued, but soon He would be murdered so that all God’s children could be rescued. Jesus said: “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”
The Ruler shepherded by sacrificing His life in order to save His sheep. The Ruler – King Jesus – I will worship all my days and forevermore!
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12).