DayBreaks for 6/23/14 – Trying to See Him
Luke 9:7-9 (NLT) When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, heard about everything Jesus was doing, he was puzzled. Some were saying that John the Baptist had been raised from the dead. Others thought Jesus was Elijah or one of the other prophets risen from the dead. “I beheaded John,” Herod said, “so who is this man about whom I hear such stories?” And he kept trying to see him.
It is a common enough thing – this trying to see someone famous. If you’ve ever gone to a live concert, or a professional sports event, or a revival meeting with Billy Graham, you know what I’m talking about. You lean this way and that trying to see around those in front of you. You stretch and stand on your tip-toes to try to see over those in front of you. You might even get up and walk to another vantage point. Why? Because there is someone famous there and you want to catch a glimpse of them!
In some ways, it would see, Herod Antipas, though he was the tetrarch of Galilee, was also seeking to see someone famous so he was a lot like us (or we are a lot like him!) He might, based on this passage, have had another motive: he had killed John the Baptist and had heard that perhaps John “was back” (in fact, in Matthew 14:2, Herod himself declares that this Jesus must be John!). Herod may have had sleepless nights thinking about that – wondering if perhaps this Jesus was really John, back from the dead, come to seek revenge. By seeing Jesus, Herod hoped to put his mind at rest.
But, Jesus wasn’t John, and Jesus didn’t appear before Herod Antipas – at least not at this time. He would appear before him during the crucifixion week when Herod (who we are reminded was still desiring to see Jesus) was in town and Pilate shipped Jesus off to Herod when he learned Jesus was from Galilee, Herod’s jurisdiction).
Herod had a couple of problems. He wanted to see Jesus (hoping, we’re told, to see a miracle during Jesus’ trial) for all the wrong reasons. He didn’t want to see or hear Jesus speak – he wanted Him to perform. Perhaps that’s another way we’re like Herod – we often want Jesus to perform according to our wants and wishes. He wanted to see Jesus to satisfy his curiosity, but not to follow Jesus.
There would be one more time when Herod and Jesus stood in front of one another. The first time, in Jerusalem, was when Jesus was on trial for his life and he stood before Herod. The second was in the afterlife when the tables were reversed and Herod stood before Jesus, on trial for his life. We don’t have to wonder what transpired the second time: every knee bows and confessed before Jesus…including tetrarchs and kings. When Herod saw Jesus for the second time, when he looked into His eyes – he knew. He also knew it was too late. How one wonders what went through the minds of the two individuals and what other words may have been exchanged!
There is one more way that we are like Herod and he is like us: we, too, shall someday stand before Jesus. What will you say? What do you think He will say to you?
PRAYER: Jesus, help us to seek you now – for all the right reasons, knowing that we shall someday see you clearly and plainly without distraction, and that we will gave an answer for our lives! May we hear You declare, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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