I remember watching old science fiction shows where the aliens arrive on planet earth and the first thing they said when they encountered any lifeform was, “Take me to your leader.” When the magi arrived in Jerusalem, they were indeed looking for their leader, only they did not go to Herod. Instead, they were looking for one whose star they saw rising in the east. They were looking for the real King of Israel.
In the text we see a stark contrast between two men—one was courageous and the other a coward. One stood up for what was right, but the other capitulated to his guilt and fear of public opinion and did something terribly wrong. One thing we know for sure is that it takes courage to be Christian in a world that increasingly embraces all manner of evil. It is a world wrestling with its guilt by blaming others and pointing fingers rather than looking in the mirror and accepting personal responsibility for the choices they’ve made or the consequences of those choices.