In my post on Herod, epicurus brought up a great point with regard to the news of the Messianic prophecy which shook Jerusalem at the arrival of the MAgi:
In the same way that the resurrection story tosses out a verse that should cause a revolution, then moves on as if no big deal (the dead coming out of their graves and walking around the city -Matt 27:52-3), the assertion that Herod and all of Jerusalem being “troubled” at the wise men following a star to come worship the new King of The Jews (Matt 2:3) doesn’t seem to mean much for a fair size city.
How would this have played out in real life? If they were really that troubled about it, a pretty big chunk of the population of the city would have followed the wise men down the road to Bethlehem to see their infant king! They would have seen the star. The lineup to the house/manger/inn would have been miles long. If Bethlehem is 6 miles or so from Jerusalem, it would have been a round trip done in a day, except of course for the time spent in the line of tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands lined up to see the infant. Then, they would have over thrown Herod if he actually tried to kill the infants under two. Joseph and Mary would be given prime positions of honour, moved out of the house/inn/manger into the finest place available, and throughout Jesus youth, he would be hailed as the new king.
Nowadays, someone spots a tear on a statue and you have throngs of people going to see it, how much more enthusiasm would you have with a “troubled” city and a big star that would have been visible to all resting over a house (however that would work I can’t imagine) containing the new King of The Jews.
That’s how real life works. That’s what people would do and how they really act if they are “troubled.”