Second Hand News & False Pretenses
There were at least two things wrong with Herod’s request of the wise men.
In the first place, Herod was willing to accept the expertise, witness, and testimony of the wise men rather than going to find out about Jesus for himself.
In the second place, Herod’s quest by proxy was based on false pretenses; he wanted Jesus found but not so he could worship him but rather so he could contain Jesus and even eliminate Jesus from his life.
God, we all are, whether we know it or not and whether we acknowledge it or not, seeking Jesus; may our quest be a willing one that is pursued with integrity and with the best motives we can muster.
While we admit our need for and humbly accept the guidance of those who have gone before us, do not let us accept the testimony of others about Jesus; compel us rather to seek him, to find him, to experience him, and to know him for ourselves.
Inspire us to seek Jesus not with false pretenses. Help us not to try to fit Jesus into our little world rather than seeking life in his huge world; help us not to try to find out just enough about Jesus to let ourselves think we can manage or manipulate him rather than submitting ourselves to the wonder and grace of all that he really is.
Help us, God, to seek Jesus for ourselves and to do so with honesty and openness.
“Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage’” (Matthew 2:7-8).