Life Talk

Life Talk

Words of Faith 2-8-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

<>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><

 

Luke 23

    [8] 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 some miracle. [9] He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. [10] The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. [11] Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. [12] That day Herod and Pilate became friends--before this, they had been enemies. 

 

        Jesus was now to the third phase of his "trial."  First, Jesus was before the Sanhedrin, and then He went before Pilate, the Roman governing prelate of Judea.  Now Jesus was in front of Herod Antipas, the Roman tetrarch of the region of Galilee where Jesus had ministered for three years.  Herod would have been in Jerusalem for the feast and was probably was staying at the old Maccabean palace nearby.

        This Herod was known as a frivolous and vain prince.  He was self-indulgent and gluttonous.  He threw lavish parties known for debauchery.  Herod was also part Jewish, which made him especially despicable to the Jewish people since his lifestyle was wretchedly sinful. 

       John the Baptizer had been bold in publicly rebuking the sins of Herod including his marriage to his sister-in-law.  He was chargeable with a number of infamous crimes.  He had John the Baptizer beheaded on the whim of his wife Herodias after being caught up in lust for her daughter (Matthew 14:1-12). Jesus was familiar with Herod and his conniving manner because interestingly, one of the Lord's disciples was the wife of Chuza, the house-steward of Herod.

        Herod wanted to see Jesus.  Why?  Probably because Jesus was a curiosity. Many people wanted to see signs and miracles.  They often would seek out sorcerers and miracle workers just for the spectacle.  Herod was no different.  He asked many questions, but Jesus was silent.  Apparently, Jesus knew that Herod was insincere. 

         Herod probably wanted to see Jesus do a few of the "tricks" that he had heard about-- turning water into wine or making bread multiply.  Herod's selfish curiosity could only be whetted by answering.  Herod may have actually delayed the process of trial and crucifixion just so he could toy with Jesus.  This was not the plan and timetable of God.

        As this meeting went on, the chief priests and teachers of the Law accused Jesus in front of Herod.  It was probably a humiliation to Herod that he could not get Jesus to even say a word.  In frustration, Herod and the soldiers joined in the mocking and finally put Jesus in an elegant robe, probably a white robe, and finally sent Jesus back to Herod.

        Luke gives us an interesting note.  "That day Herod and Pilate became friends--before this, they had been enemies." It is sometimes said that in the world "friends" are those people who have found a common enemy. Pilate and Herod forged a friendship out of their mutual desire to get Jesus out of the picture. The same was true for the chief priests and the teachers of the law. These two groups were as different as night and day on theology and practice of Judaism, yet they were banded together because they both felt threatened by Jesus in different ways.

        What do we get from this?  We see clearly that casual curiosity about Jesus is not enough.  Seeking Jesus so that He might do a few "tricks" is not the approach that will gain access to His words.  Even a scholarly fascination with Jesus' life and history does not open the door for Him to commune with us. 

         Jesus is really not interested in doing tricks or answering curiosity.  He does not perform a "dog and pony show" on command. Instead, Jesus is interested in giving Life.  If you are interested in gaining Life from Him, He will surely speak with you and illumine your path. Plying Him with questions is not going to gain a word.

        We can easily get caught up in things that are really not important.  We can get distracted by supernatural gifts, miraculous manifestation or prophetic utterances.  We can get distracted by our own needs or mental barriers.  We can even get caught up in a bargain with Jesus-- "If you do this trick in my life, I will surely follow you."  None of this fits the nature of Jesus' conversation with humanity.  Jesus wants so much more for us.  What we really need is to seek an audience with Jesus on the topic of Life. 

 

     O Lord, I need Life, and I need it abundantly.  I seek You not for some temporary blessing or favor.  I am not looking for tricks or spectacle.  I want the Life that is eternal.  I want the waters that well up unto everlasting Life.  Speak to me gently from the deep resources of the Spirit.  Come into my life and reassure me that You are indeed God and You are all that I need.  In Jesus' name.