By: Maggie Leonard
Reflection— v. 16, ‘When Herod knew the magi had fooled him’
I don’t think that King Herod was fooled. The magi did not set out to deceive the
king. In fact, if anything, Herod tried to deceive them when he claimed that he intended to honor the new king of the Jews. Often we project our own thoughts and intentions upon others. Herod intended to fool the magi. When it did not work, he believed that he had been fooled by them. He may have felt foolish in the end, but that was never their intention. Without being malicious but with more time and information, the magi were entitled to change their minds and plans. We know that Herod’s deception was based in fear, for verse three tells us that he was troubled by
the news of this newborn king. That fear, coupled with his newfound anger sent him into a rage—lashing out and devising the murder of thousands of innocent babies. Most of us do not plan mass murders, but many of us do lash out in destructive ways when our own plans go amiss, we feel that we’ve been made a fool, or our power is challenged. May we be less reactive than Herod, realizing that life’s circumstances are more complex than others trying to offend us. May we act slowly and with love.
Prayer God of comfort, calm our hearts that we not be angry, embittered, or reactive.