devotion 1-20-15

Good Morning!I pray for you a blessed day!

Luke 9:7-9

7 Now Herod the ruler* heard about all that had taken place, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, 8by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the ancient prophets had arisen. 9Herod said, ‘John I beheaded; but who is this about whom I hear such things?’ And he tried to see him.

The asterisk note says that the Greek used here is “tetrarch”. After the death of Herod the Great, Rome divided his “kingdom” into four sections, hence “tetrarchy”, three ruled by Herod’s different sons, and one by a Roman governor. This is Herod Antipas, who ruled Galilee at the time. This Herod is the son of the Herod who tried to kill the infant Jesus in Bethlehem. He was married to his niece, Herodotus, who had previously been married to his brother, Herod Phillip I. John the Baptist had spoken out against Herodotus, who had left Phillip to marry his brother, an arrangement likely about a grasp for power. It was she who convinced Herod to kill John the Baptist, through her daughter (Herod’s Step-daughter) Salome. Luke does not tell this part of the story – we get that from Matthew (chapter 14).

Here, Herod has heard about all that is taking place in Galilee – he would have had spies everywhere. Likely, the multiplication of activity, from Jesus teaching and healing alone, to 12 disciples going out, teaching and healing and raising crowds, has alerted Herod. And when he asks his spies who this man is, he is even more perplexed by their response: some say he is John the Baptist raised from the dead, some that he is Elijah, others that he is one of the ancient prophets. Herod asks the question then, Who is this man?

The disciples had asked that question after Jesus calmed the storm, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the waves, and they obey him?” The pig-keepers in the Gerasenes were afraid to ask the question – they just wanted Jesus to leave. Now Herod asks the question. All of this is leading up to Jesus himself asking, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” then, “But who do you say that I am?” Everyone else asking the question is to lead us to ask the question – and to be ready to answer when Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?”

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