Today’s reading contains the evil story of the Slaughter of the Innocents in Bethlehem, in which King Herod orders all little boys in Bethlehem’s vicinity two years-old and younger to be murdered. Matthew then quotes from the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah (who was himself alluding to the Book of Genesis):
“Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:Matthew 2:17-18
‘A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.'”
It’s a miserable story, an Herod was an evil man. But he was right.
Herod wasn’t right because he had those boys murdered; Herod was right because he rightly understood that this Jesus is a threat to all dictators and demons. Even today, the Chinese totalitarians are using the vast resources of their hellish surveillance state to stamp out peaceful followers of Jesus. Why? Because if Jesus is the true King, then the powers of this world will be held to account; if Jesus is the true King, then one day his Kingdom will come fully, on earth as it already is in heaven.
Don’t be fooled: all the rival powers are mere pretenders, and will one day be finally overthrown.
What would it look like for you to worship the true King today?