“He Was Frightened…He Inquired”
Herod was motivated by fear to inquire into the birthplace of the Messiah; he was looking for information that he could use to protect his place and his standing—to protect himself. Herod wanted to learn about Jesus so that he could manage and control Jesus, which for him meant to eliminate Jesus from his life.
O God, help our inquiries into Jesus not to be motivated by fear.
While we would never think of using what we can find out about Jesus to try to eliminate him from our lives, the truth is that if we are driven by fear to learn of him we will be looking only for those aspects of him that we think either eliminate or confirm our fear. Either way, we will then be through with him in the sense that we will delude ourselves into thinking that we have managed and controlled him, that we have used him for what we need and that we have no further need for him. We will thereby not have eliminated him from our lives but we will have tried to relegate him to only those areas of our lives where we think we need him.
O God, help our inquiries into Jesus to be motivated by a desire to know his grace and love in every aspect and area of our lives and by a desire to submit ourselves to him in every aspect and area of our lives.
Herod saw Jesus as a problem to be confirmed and eliminated; help us not to see him only as a way to confirm or to eliminate our problems but rather to see him as what he is: Messiah and Savior who would be and should be Lord of our lives in their totality.
“When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born” (Matthew 2:4).