(Note: this is a slightly edited version of a post first published in December 2013.)
Some time soon after, astrologers came from the East seeking to worship the newborn king of the Jews whose sign they had seen in the heavens. Herod was understandably upset – after all, he was already king of the Jews. So upset was he, in fact, that he had all the baby boys in and around Bethlehem who were under two years old murdered. He was just doing what powerful men have always done – protecting his vested interests.
Jesus, it would seem, was a dangerous baby.
Thirty or so years later, Jesus began a public ministry that would pit him more and more starkly against the religious and legal authorities, until he was eventually considered enough of a threat to be executed following a staged trial. So much for the newborn king.
Two thousand years later, we proclaim that Jesus is Lord and celebrate his birth at Christmas and his death and resurrection at Easter. But what kind of a king do we make him out to be?