“And humiliating Him with his guardsmen, and mocking Him by putting luxurious clothing around Him, Herod sent Him again to Pilate. And that same day Pilate and Herod became friends with one another, for before they were at enmity between themselves.” – Luke 23:11-12 (MKJV)
So, with the season of The Passion upon us I’ve wondered, is anyone gonna give a shout out to Herod Antipas? Alrighty, I realize he ain’t exactly the Easter Bunny but he is a lot more connected to the Story of The Passion than that rabbit ever could be. Despite how Secularland is attempting to redefine genders, the rabbit, an unclean animal according to Levitical Law, will never lay eggs, let alone show up at your front door with a basket full of them in living color. However, if you were Herod Antipas, you really laid an egg when it came to observing Jewish Law and no one really likes you (maybe he shoulda worn the rabbit suit). Anyway…
So, without going into the history on how Antipas came into power, I can safely say that on the shores of the Jordan River, along the western edge of his territory of Perea, Antipas ran into a camel-coated Nazarite named, John the Baptist. I’m sure John reinvigorated those lowly subjects, that were under the thumb of this Roman Emperor wanna-be, on the importance of remembering who their God is and why it so important for these people to repent, be cleansed and renew their commitment to that which is holy. Oh, and there’s that voice crying out from the wilderness announcing the arrival of the Messiah.
So, rumor has it that Herod Antipas was keen to listen to the preaching of John… “But Herod, the ruler, stung by John’s rebuke in the matter of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, capped his long string of evil deeds with this outrage: He put John in jail.” — Luke 3: 19-20 (MSG) …however, Mrs. Herod wasn’t exactly too keen on this bit of dirty laundry being aired out in the public square and, like the Red Queen of “Through the Looking-Glass” fame, Herodias begins with her primal scream version of “OFF WITH HIS HEAD” but somehow in the sovereign power of conscience, Herod doesn’t agree with Herodias and chooses instead to sneak down to the dungeon just to listen to The Baptist’s preaching.
“For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man. And he kept him safe. And when he heard him, he did many things and heard him gladly.” — Mark 6:20
Don’t get this all wrong either, Herod wasn’t too cool with John the Baptist holding his hand over his heart and saying, “Herod, my boy, it’s actually not right for you to have your brother’s wife.” YEAH! It wasn’t too good to get rid of your first wife, steal your half-brother’s wife, live with her unwedded, and try to make everyone in the room accept this as normal. Well, when this happened it wasn’t 2022 so maybe it was a little awkward back then?? Not according to God’s Word or the man who God chose to speak His Word. And here’s the conclusion of this matter.
We can all be like Herod Antipas when we hear the Word of God. We get up from our seats and start doing things that we normally wouldn’t be bothered with; the conviction of God’s Word will do that. Because it should agitate and stir us up to better things. We hear things that address us in a personal way. “Perhaps what He’s saying to me is that I need to be better person than I am. Maybe I need to turn over a new leaf?” Yeah, sometimes God’s Word takes on our pseudo sense of moralism and flips its script.
HOWEVER, when someone is gutsy enough, like The Baptist was to The Tetrarch, to point out what is actually standing out as being something so indictive of our mess, we suddenly go tone deaf. I know I would if I had some Herodias wandering around my house screaming “OFF WITH HIS HEAD” constantly…but I digress, or should I? After all, the way the relationship that The Baptist had with The Tetrarch ended there should more to say. Well, there is and even though the lust that was in Herod’s heart was never dealt with by him, there’ll be The Rock to contend with. That’s gonna be a different tone deafness all together but that’s gonna be another Freedom Fighter for another time…so stay tuned.
Until then can I ask ya to ponder over something? Before you came to Christ, how much preaching did ya hear before it became obvious you needed a Savior? John was a voice crying out in the wilderness, and many came to listen, who was your John? Better yet…who or what is your Herodias? Now do you need a Savior? Yeah, this is a good place for an AMEN!
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can e-mail him at email@example.com.
Think About This: “Actually, John the Baptist would never have fit into the contemporary religious scene in our day—never! He did not keep his suit pressed. He was not careful about choosing words that would not offend. He did not quote beautiful passages from the poets.” – Aiden Wilson Tozer