1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea during the reign of king Herod, see, great men from the east came to Jerusalem,
2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to show respect to him.”
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him;
4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he asked them where the Christ was supposed to be born.
5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for that is how it is written by the prophet:
6 “‘ And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least significant among the leaders of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'”
The word magi denotes greatness. These men were of the high priestly caste of the Magian religion of Persia. They came to Jerusalem because they had seen a star that indicated to them the beginning of a new reign. This was the first time Herod learned of it, and he immediately went into defensive mode. All Herod saw was another opponent to put down. What disturbed Herod was that this opponent would have religious tradition on his side.
Jerusalem was disturbed because Herod was one of these people that tended to resort to violence to solve his problems, and had few qualms about who he had killed. It was said of Herod that it was better to be his pig than his son. Herod was a great man, and he intended to stay on the throne, that made him a dangerous man.
God of greatness, protect us from those who think they are great, and want to protect themselves by hurting others.