Thursday, December 18, 2014
The Power Broker
As I read the old story again of those men from the East, it is to King Herod that the moment of meditation beckons me. The more I enter into the spirit of reflection, the more I realize that this time of meditation is not about the man, but about power. Power distorts our view of ourselves. It makes us a person of greater importance than those around us. Thus, our view of self, others, and even God suffers. Herod was accustomed to people doing his bidding. His word was sufficient to change the lives of those who valued his favor. Obviously, the men from the East were not such people. They did not fear him, Neither did they do as he told them to do. When power is confronted with such a spirit, it is angered and takes protective action. The slaughter of innocent children reveals the extent to which fear will drive a man who is consumed by power.
It was not a powerful conquering army at the city gate which frightened King Herod, but a new born child who some claimed to be the King of the Jews. Yet, still he was terrified. He was a afraid that the child could unravel the "might makes right" order his power had created. Maybe more than most, he sensed that the King of the Jews could bring into existence a kingdom which would not only collide with his, but overcome it. When he told the men from the East to go and find the King so that he, too, could go and pay homage, it was a lie. He would let the visitors find the child and then he would make sure the child went to an early grave.
One of the interesting things about the child who would grow to be a man, a Savior, named Jesus, and the One also called King of Kings was the way He kept telling folks, "You have nothing to fear." Herod was consumed by fear. Always he was afraid what he had would be taken away. Jesus who had everything counted nothing, not even heaven's glory as something to be grasped, but emptied Himself and took the form of a servant. For this Savior who chose to give everything away, there was no fear. Indeed, there was no need to fear. It is a lesson Herod and all the his power broker kinsmen throughout history never seem to learn.