Matthew 2:1-12 describes Herod as king of his world; he reigns for his personal benefit. His power and influence spanned nearly a half century during which time he continued to build the great temple which pleased the Jews and the Romans, who were content that all was calm during his reign.
In a real sense Herod and Israel conspired together as they both pursued their common interests in which religious and political motives intermingled. Each “scratched each other's back,” and bowed before legislative and religious laws. Despite more than “passing interest” in reports of a Messiah's birth, the chief priests and scribes and Herod turned a blind eye to what had happened.
Both were unwilling to relinquish their world and accept the possibility that the Messiah has been born. It was more convenient if this was not true and they could keep their good thing going for a while longer.
While the Magi are not insiders, they were a force to be reckoned with, and not readily dismissed. Their arrival was more than a nuisance; it was an “international event”… the status quo was not prepared (willing) to accept the glory of God's heavenly kingdom whose power was love as opposed to Herod’s love of power....not now; maybe later; they had a good thing going and didn’t need another king much less a Messiah to spoil it.
Do we sometimes yearn for God’s Kingdom, while finding it hard to leave our comfort zone? After all, Herod’s kingdom was comfortable for the insiders who played the game. Is there a piece of Herod’s kingdom that resides in each of us?