When Jesus was born, the son of Herod the Great, Archelaus, was ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea and Augustus was emperor of Rome. Archelaus had the army and strength of Rome behind him, but the Sanhedrin had the people of Judea. Anytime the Sanhedrin wanted a protest, riot, or insurrection, the people of Judea would follow the decision of the Sanhedrin.
Who were these Sanhedrin? Seventy in numbers, they were appointed from every area of Israel to make decisions affecting social as well as religious activities. While Archelaus ruled from the palace, the Sanhedrin ruled from the courtyard of the Temple. If someone wanted to be a member of the Sanhedrin, he must not only be recognized as religious, but also as political. If Archelaus wanted to follow the dictates of Augustus, he had to consider also the opinion of the Sanhedrin. His failure to do so….
For more interesting discussion of this period, read my novel Eugenios: Servant of Kings. To go to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00FBD7KK4. To go to my facebook page: goo.gl/2lWm2v.