We’ve been looking at the story of the Magi or wise men visiting Jesus, now we’ll contast them with the priests and scribes who were present at their meeting with Herod (see yesterday’s Bible reading).

The scribes and priests are also knowledgeable, learned like the Magi. They are called to advise Herod on this apparent threat to his rule – is a new king of the Jews, or the Messiah, really going to be born?

These experts on the scriptures end up helping him with his plan to have the wise men quietly scout things out for Herod, so he can swoop in and violently remove the threat.

But first, Herod needed to know where in Judea this “king” would be born. This was a question the priests/scribes could answer immediately – they knew the scriptures, the history and answer that it’s Bethlehem, the city of David.

The priests and scribes had all the information to know the messiah was coming, and coming imminently. But they did nothing but advise his enemy.

Perhaps in their view, the arrival of the Messiah represents a threat to their power and authority in their culture, and to peace with the Romans. So they go home…Herod will neutralize threat. They advise and move on.

Question: What intellectual risks are involved in following Jesus? How do you calculate those?

Meeting with a Group?  Your discussion questions are in this week’s Group Study Guide

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