Mar. 15, 2012
When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate.
Have you ever met someone of significance? I’ve never met anyone very important or popular. Like Lake Wobegon, my life is made up of basically folks who fit this description: “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”
The Herod in this passage is Herod Antipas, son of the famous Herod the Great. Herod the Great was the Judean Roman king at the time Jesus was born. He instructed soldiers to kill all boys under two-years to eliminate baby Jesus. He couldn’t stand the thought of another possible king.
Herod Antipas was the Roman ruler around the Sea of Galilee when Jesus was an adult. He murdered John the Baptist after John called him out for divorcing his first wife and marrying his sister-in-law. He is the notable one; the one people might want to meet but also the person people might be intimidated by. Instead of the common Jesus desiring to meet Herod, it’s the other way around. Herod has long desired to meet Jesus. Now, he has an opportunity.
Herod has heard Jesus can perform miracles or in his opinion, magic tricks. He anticipates Jesus doing a special trick before him. Wouldn’t he want to do one so Herod would release him? Jesus knows Herod doesn’t understand where his power comes from. Also present are the Sanhedrin, watching his every move, waiting for him to take a wrong step.
In the end, Herod is underwhelmed. He’s disappointed. He doesn’t know what the hype is about. Jesus does nothing to impress him. Herod mocks him, considers it a waste of him time and sends him back to Pilate. He has more important things to do.
We’re often fascinated with the lives and lifestyles of the rich and famous. Magazines tell us gritty details, some true, some not so true, about movie stars, musicians and notable people. In our era of reality television, most anyone with a good public relations agent can become a household name. When we reference someone by his or her first name and everyone seemingly knows who they are, we think they have “made it.”
If you could choose anyone to meet, who would you choose? If you could have a face-to-face with this person, what would you ask them? How would you expect them to handle themselves? If they are a singer, would you expect them to sing? If a movie star, would you want them to act? What would you think if they ended up being just an ordinary, common person? Would you be disappointed?
The world and our lives are filled with ordinary, common folks. Folks I know by first names that are very important to me. These people cause me to smile when I see their name flash up on caller id. Or whose e-mail I open first. These are the folks I to have lunch with, play ball with and pray with. Maybe their names will not grace the cover of a popular magazine. That’s OK. Maybe none of them will go down in history. I’m OK with this.
These are also the people I’d love to know Jesus.
Let us pray: He had no stately form, he had no majesty, that we should be drawn to Him. He was despised and we took no account of Him, yet now he reigns with the Most High. Our God reigns! Our God reigns! Our God reigns! Our God reigns. Amen.