December 11 - Luke 23:8-12

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Luke 23:8-12 – Jesus with Herod

Herod is an interesting character in this drama that is happening behind the scenes of Passover in Jerusalem. He had come into the city for the feast. This isn't his home. He lived in the castle built by his family in Tiberius on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. He didn't have any particular affinity to Jesus. He didn't care one way or the other. To Herod, Jesus was a curiosity, something to wonder about and laugh at. He wasn't particularly threatened by the man, which seems odd since it was his father, Herod the Great, who brought in wise men from the east to help him understand the threat of a new king on the horizon.

Herod was so far from the every day life of his nation that he had never seen this man who traversed his land, preaching, teaching, healing and performing miracles. Herod wanted to be entertained by Jesus. When the Lord refused to play games with him, Herod incited the other members of his court to join him in ridicule and mocking. When it had no effect and he grew bored, Herod was finished. He had no desire to kill Jesus, and concluded that Jesus was innocent. He put him in a white robe, much like that of the high priest, mocking Jesus’ claim that he was from God and returned him to Pilate.

Herod had been appointed by Caesar to rule this region. There had been something occur between Pilate and Herod to separate them as enemies. Perhaps it was the event recorded in Luke 13:1, when Pilate was rumored to have mixed blood of Galileans in with sacrifices. Pilate reached out to Herod by sending Jesus to him and Herod’s response was to return the prisoner.