1 Samuel 4-6 Luke 9:1-17
“Herod said, ‘I cut off John’s head, so who is this man I hear such things about?’ And Herod kept trying to see Jesus.” (Luke 9:9)
Herod Antipas was THE man in Galilee. He was recognized by Caesar Augustus as the tetrarch, or ruler of Galilee and Perea. While he had some issues because of his personal morality, he was the ruler of the area. He was the one who arrested and executed John the Baptist. As news of Jesus reached him, though, he was unsettled. There are reports that many thought this was John, risen from the dead. (Ironic, isn’t it.) As Herod discussed this Jesus with his advisors, he pointed out that he had ordered John’s execution and wondered who this other religious fanatic was. Then, we see a curious statement: He kept trying to see Jesus. As Jesus walked around Galilee and taught, He was readily available. Herod could have left his palace and found Jesus teaching somewhere. If Jesus had time for blind beggars, foreign women, and leaders of the Pharisees, He could have found time for this fake king. And if that didn’t suit his tetrachness, he could have had someone round Jesus up and bring Him to the palace for an interview. He had that power.
I’ve heard a lot of people who talked like Herod. They’d like to see Jesus. They’d like to follow Jesus, but…. When the time is right…. They aren’t quite ready. Jesus isn’t hard to find. We have God’s word, the Bible, that tells the story of His life. When we read the Bible prayerfully, we connect with Jesus. If that’s too hard, churches proclaim the good news about Jesus weekly (or more) in worship and in Bible Study. It’s inconvenient to go to church, though. Sunday’s a day to sleep in – it’s the weekend after all. Work starts the next day. Or perhaps we need that relaxation that comes from a day on the lake fishing, in the woods hunting, or on the golf course. What we need is people who will show Jesus in their daily lives, helping others to understand who this man is that people keep hearing about. There are many “Herods” in the world today. They may be in politics, or CEOs of giant corporations, or road workers holding the signs that say, “slow down,” or homeless people trying to survive on the streets. There are so many from every walk of life that talk about a nebulous need for something in their lives that’s different and can change them for the better, who won’t even make any effort to learn about Jesus – but that’s to be expected because the natural man doesn’t seek the things of God. For those of us who follow Christ, that means that we have the responsibility to share His love and grace. We can make a difference in the lives of all the “Herods” of this world who are waiting for Jesus to come to them. As to their reactions, just remember that when Pilate sent Jesus to Herod, he mocked Jesus. Don’t worry about their reaction, just keep loving them.
Oh Lord, there are so many people who know they need something different in their lives. They may be curious about You, but they don’t know where to find You. Use me to show them Your mercy and grace.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.