After bringing Jesus before Pilate, who could find no reason to condemn him, the Lord was sent by Pilate to Herod to be examined. Herod’s examination of the Lord is both harsh and interesting, for there are some things we can learn about Herod’s reaction to Jesus, especially when he did not get his own way.
Jesus Comes to Herod
Pilate sent Jesus to Herod when he believed Jesus was from the region of Galilee, and therefore within Herod’s legal jurisdiction. The scripture tells us, “When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him.” (Verse 8)
Herod was glad to see Jesus. When Jesus came to him Herod was pleased for Jesus’ reputation had reached Herod’s ears and he wanted to know more about Jesus.
But it is evident Herod did not want to learn what Jesus was teaching, for this was not what he was seeking. The scripture above tells us that Herod was hoping to see Jesus perform a sign. Herod was looking for Jesus to do something miraculous to appease his curiosity about the Lord. He was not interested in what Jesus had to say, he just wanted to see something miraculous happen.
Warning about the Herodians
In other places we see that Jesus warned his disciples about Herod and those who followed Herod. Herod and his people held the political power in Israel at the time, just as the Pharisees held the religious power.
Jesus had been warned by some Pharisees that Herod wanted to kill him. But Jesus was aware of Herod’s malice, his deceit and his cunning. He calls Herod a fox, which is indicative of the cunningness of Herod (Luke 13:31-32) It was the Herodians with some of the Pharisees who came to Jesus in great cunning to try to entrap him concerning the paying of taxes to Caesar. (Matthew 22:15-22)
The followers of Herod were not happy about Jesus coming and wanted rid of Jesus too. There concerns were more politically motivated than the Pharisees as they were concerned about Jesus being a king and therefore in opposition to Herod as the political ruler, albeit as a subject to the Roman rulers. Jesus was moving the people and the politicians under Herod saw Him as a threat that needed to be eliminated to protect Herod’s position.
A Lesson for Today
Today we see many who are constantly trying to shore up their positions just as these men did. They have no regard for the truth but will use any means, fair or foul, to hold onto the reins of power. It is even worse when those who claim to be ministers of God practice deception to maintain their positions rather than using the word of God and the roles that they have to teach, pastor and help God’s people.
I am sure that most ministers are seeking to do what is right, but it is the small few who fail, sometimes becoming a public disgrace, who taint the name of Jesus Christ and Christianity and cause non-believers to revile the truth of Jesus Christ.
For their sake I hope and pray they will see the light, repent and return to the right execution of the gifts of ministry they have been given. And as Jesus warned His disciples to beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing, so too today we must watch out for those, like Herod, who are seeking signs rather than the truth of the Gospel of Christ.
There is a purpose for signs and wonders and it is not for the promotion of any individual. The purpose of the signs is to confirm the truth of the gospel and that is done by the hand of God, not by any man.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng taken by Adam Jackson)