Just as [Chapter 1 of Matthew] has defended Jesus against suspicions of illegitimacy, so [chapter 2] clearly portrays Herod as the real usurper to the throne. He whose birth is hounded by charges of illegitimacy is in fact the truly legitimate kind of Israel. Self-appointed leaders of God’s people in every age must guard against making the same mistake that Herod did in not recognizing God’s true messengers when they appear. Jesus comes to seek and to save all the lost. In so doing he brings justice for the oppressed and threatens those who continue to cling to humanly erected social barriers. There is no place in God’s economy for discrimination against any kind of people. God’s own Messiah appears in ignominious circumstances to identify with and liberate all those who would accept the gift of forgiveness which those in positions of power and privilege so often reject and despise.
-Craig Blomberg in The New American Commentary: Matthew, p.71.