When King Herod heard this, he was deeply disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. Matthew 2:3 HCSB
Appointed by the Roman government, King Herod or Herod the Great was the ruler over the Jewish nation. Jerusalem was the seat of government. He was a ruthless man who ordered his wife, two sons, and other family members killed out of fear that they would overthrow him as king. When he heard that a King of the Jews had been born, he was upset. He was the king of the Jews and was not willing to share his throne with anyone. It would be natural that the people of Jerusalem would be fearful of what King Herod would do if he felt his throne was threatened.
Herod was not a Jew and the Jews did not recognize him as their legitimate leader. They still looked to their religious leaders for leadership. The Jews did not like Herod nor the Roman government. Herod did not want the Jewish people to unite behind a new religious leader. The people would have welcomed a Jewish king who could stop the control of the Romans. The Jewish nation was a long way from Rome and certainly the people would have desired to gain control back from the Roman government through the promised Messiah, who they believed would be a political and powerful Messiah rather than a spiritual Messiah.
Challenge: It is ironic that Herod, one of the most powerful men in the world, was afraid of a small baby boy. Herod’s fears drove him to do things that were ruthless and cruel. Fear can cause a person to react in ways that are not normal. Many times throughout the Bible God’s people were instructed, “Do not be afraid.” What are your afraid of? Turn your fears over to the Lord and allow Him to show you how you can best conquer the fears in your life.