“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy” (Matthew 2:10).
The familiar story of Herod and the wise men illustrates how news of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ so effectively separates people into two great companies: the “gospel” of Christ means, literally, “good news,” but most people, sad to say, react as though it were bad news.
When the “wise men from the east” came searching for the newborn Savior, this glorious news was received badly, right where it should have been received most gladly. “When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him” (Matthew 2:3). The Jewish leaders were equally unresponsive, who, knowing the prophetic promises, could tell the king where Christ would be born (Matthew 2:5,6), but they were merely “troubled” along with others in Jerusalem.
Neither Herod nor the Jewish leaders were glad for the news, and neither would join in looking for the Savior. Later, they all tried to slay Him.
The wise men on the other hand “rejoiced with exceeding great joy” (Matthew 2:10) when they found Him, and then “they departed into their own country another way” (Matthew 2:12), no doubt with lives changed as well as itineraries.
One’s attitude of heart is all important. Those who proclaim Christ encounter two reactions: “To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life” (II Corinthians 2:16).
Some, like Herod, react with fear and hatred, setting about to destroy the gospel by persecution. Others in the scholarly community like the priests and scribes, seem to react with learned indifference, but when confronted more directly with their own hypocrisy, also eventually resort to persecution. But always there are some who, like the wise men, fall down in joyous faith to worship Him (Matthew 2:11). HMM