When King Herod heard that one had been born King of the Jews, he summoned the chief priests and scribes to inquire where the Christ was to be born (see Matthew 2:4). They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet . . .'" (Matthew 2:5-6).
Not only did these religious leaders know the answer, but it appears as though they knew it right away. "The Messiah? Bethlehem is where He will be born." Then why weren't they looking for Him? Doesn't it seem a little unusual that foreign dignitaries had come from the East, claiming to have been led to that very area by some star, and were looking for one who is called the King of the Jews? Certainly that must have piqued their curiosity a little bit. Yet these theological experts could not even bother to walk a few miles to Bethlehem to find out whether the Messiah had indeed been born.
They knew the Word of God, yet they did nothing in response. They were too busy with themselves to be concerned about Jesus. In fact, when His public ministry began, they were Jesus' principal adversaries. They were looking for a different kind of a Messiah. They were looking for someone who would support their religious system and their chosen way of living, someone who would cater to their whims and conform to their wishes.
A lot of people today want Jesus, but they want Him on their own terms. They want the kind of Jesus who will not challenge them. These religious leaders were like that. They knew Scripture - they could quote it verbatim. Yet they did nothing to meet the living Savior