Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” Matthew 2:7-8
Let’s recap. Wise men from east of Judea, who didn’t subscribe to Jewish faith but studied it, journeyed hundreds of miles to see if an ancient prophecy was true. They saw something amazing in the heavens – a very unusual star – and followed where it led them (an unusual thing in itself because, ya know, stars appear to move). On arriving in Judea, they went to the leader, Herod, who was greatly upset to learn these learned men were looking for a king who would threaten Herod’s rule.
Herod’s response? A vicious white lie.
Now, be honest: all lies are vicious. Even little white lies. Even the ones designed to say something you want said without supposedly hurting someone’s feelings. “Go find him so I might worship him, too.” That seems innocuous enough, especially coming from the local head-honcho. If you or I were the wise men, it stands to reason that we, like they, would have believed Herod. So off they went to Bethlehem.
Except it was a lie. Herod didn’t want to worship the child. He wanted the child dead. So, he lied to the wise men to get them to do what he wanted. Just like all atheism & unbelief, the lie backfired.
Flash forward to your life now. If you don’t believe that child was Jesus, the only Savior and the Messiah, you want Him dead, too. Your denial or mine would be as bad as Herod’s. We’re lying to ourselves if we don’t believe Jesus is who He says He is. Biblical proofs, archaeological proofs, historical and literary proofs, and the non-empirically-provable proof that is faith: they all prove Jesus is the Son of God. Yet most people don’t believe it. Most people in the world don’t accept it, rejecting it and believing the lie. They’d rather not be bothered with it. But that actually means they’re cheap idolaters, wanting to be Jesus instead following Him.
That early Christmas, Herod’s white lie backfired. Just like ours do.
Another thing: the new faith of the Magi. Isn’t it amazing? Though not initially believers, their science made them believers. They sought proof and found it, and then they believed. They were able to calculate the exact time the star had appeared, and matched their calculations to Jewish prophecies, concluding that the star pointed to the place where they could find the newborn king. So they could worship him, not the science. They trusted the science because it led them to faith. That’s a big lesson for folks in our world, today. Even lying Herod agreed.
For more reading: Matthew 2:9
Lord, silence my lying tongue. And thank You that science can lead people to faith.