15 Others said, “He is Elijah.” And still others claimed, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.”
16 But when Herod heard this, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!” 17 For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married.
Familiarity Bred Contempt…
Last week,In the first verses of this chapter, Jesus had gone to his home town to minister, but the people in his hometown were too familiar with Jesus to have any real faith, they basically disregarded him because they had always known him and his family.
Getting It Wrong…
This week we get an example of someone who Got Jesus wrong.
King Herod was raised as, and was, a practicing Jew. He was appointed as king over Judea by Rome so while he had his religious faith he was very much a man of the world. King Herod had heard of Jesus and thought that he was John the Baptist come back to life.
There is a lot here that could be discussed (like how does a practicing Jew believe in reincarnation?) but just one that I want to address at the moment, and that is how wrong King Herod was and how many of us are just like him.
Like King Herod, many of us carry some sort of guilt around in our psyche and we think all sorts of things about Jesus as a result of that guilt. And while a healthy dose of guilt is necessary to lead us to Jesus in the first place, too many of us allow our guilt to send us in all sorts of weird directions of thinking about him.
I know a woman whose son overdosed a few years ago. She was an absent mother who had problems of her own and when the son died she formed many spiritual opinions what aren’t even close to reality, non-the-less though she holds on to them because she gets some sort of comfort from them. Without ever getting to know who Jesus is she has formed opinions about him in order to make herself feel better in her situation.
We all have this tendency in us, it’s a coping mechanism of our brains that allow us to function in this world however the problem is that we are trying to adjust our understanding in order to fit this broken world rather than getting a heavenly perspective to inform us.
Getting Jesus Right…
What King Herod and the woman that I know both don’t know is that Jesus did not come to judge but to seek and save the lost: he did not come to accuse but to forgive.
Somewhere along the way, all of us might have missed this memo and think of Jesus as a task-master and cruel judge, but the reality is that he offers us grace – the grace and redemption of his Cross.
When Jesus was nailed to the cross he looked upon his accusers and those who were insulting him and cried out “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” And at the very moment when Jesus gave up the ghost the punishment of Adam’s sin had been destroyed once and for all. Then after he was buried and being in the grave for three days God resurrected Jesus back to life as the victor over sin and death.
Today, Jesus is alive and well and through faith in Him, we have relationship with God via the Holy Spirt. Now, the relationship that was lost with God back in the Garden of Eden has been restored through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ our savior.