Day 18. Christmas is one week away. The home stretch. Today we have a Scout Trooper, a variant on the Stormtrooper that was first seen in Return of the Jedi. We saw a clone version of the Scout Trooper in Revenge of the Sith. They were more advanced than a Stormtrooper, similar to a Ranger or SEAL.
Despite the Scout Troopers being highly trained, they let a primitive tribe of teddy bears defeat them in the Battle of Endor. (Nice job, Empire.)
At the time of Jesus’ birth, the Roman Empire ruled the land with an iron fist. They had their own Emperor with Caesar, and they squashed any separatists. Their army of Roman soldiers had been schooled to be tools of warfare.
And yet when Jesus is born what do we see? A Roman leader nervous and insecure. For all of its power, might and glory, a baby boy throws the region’s leaders into disarray.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;
–Matthew 2:1-3 (ESV)
Herod is panicking, Jerusalem is on edge. What this says about the Roman Empire is interesting. Rome is indifferent to the Jewish law and customs, but some foreigners claim a newborn king is nearby. And the leaders fall to pieces.
Herod’s attempts to snuff out Jesus are a bit slapstick, so it’s no surprise he is hoodwinked. Yes, it’s Jesus and he will be protected. But don’t you think if you truly want to worship this new king you’d go with the Magi? Too logical a thought? Okay. The Magi had been warned by God, but they probably had to wonder…
Herod realizes he’s been outsmarted and tries to rectify matters. It’s too late.
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.
–Matthew 2:13-16 (ESV)
Did Herod ever think he had killed this alleged threat? Wouldn’t you have used some of your best soldiers to investigate a bit more instead of randomly killing children? Wouldn’t word of Jesus had spread after his dedication at the temple thus giving you leads to chase down? (Luke 2) Apparently not. Despite the advancement in military skill it wasn’t utilized. Much like with the Galactic Empire’s Scout Troopers and what took place on Endor. More than sheer braun was needed.
What brought down both Empires was not a massive army. It was a small band of individuals. Both Empires were on edge at any appearance of rebellion to their rule. Maybe that reveals more of their lack of power than anything. They knew. It was only a matter of time. No matter how advanced their army was, the Empires fell. Rome was about to fall. Jesus had arrived.