Word for Wednesday

At that time, Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus. Matthew 14:1

There was plenty that was interesting about the life of Herod Antipater, but little that was admirable. One of the sons of Herod the Great, he was given the rule over the Roman provinces of Galilee and Perea. One of his greatest mistakes was to divorce his wife Phasaelis and to take up with Herodias, who had been his brother Philip’s wife. Not only did Herodias goad Herod into committing such crimes as the murder of John Baptist, but the liason also created political conflicts that later had Herod accused of treachery against Rome. This accusation by his nephew Agrippa led to Herod being exiled, with Herodias, to Gaul (present day France), where he died within eight years of killing John. Little more than a blemish in the annals of history, Herod at one time was interested in Jesus of Nazareth. Like too many today, his interest did not lead him to change.

Herod was convinced that Jesus was a reincarnation of John Baptist. We would have thought that such an idea would have led to Herod repenting of the murder and of his adulterous marriage. But all that Herod had in mind was to see a miracle performed by Jesus. He had no interest in changing his wicked ways or of abandoning his life of reckless sinfulness. His was a callous and cruel nature with little regard for issues of eternity. He is well represented in our world by those who pursue evil while professing to have an interest in spiritual things. As Christians, we see these people, and they concern us, because we know that the Gospel will never make much headway among them. Although like faithful John we must remind them of their sin and warn them of judgment, we seldom see any sign of repentance among such people.Let’s face it, most of the people who we invite to meetings, most of the people who receive a Gospel tract or calendar, most of the people who drive past the places where a sign proclaims that the Gospel is being preached, will not ever pay attention to the message, let alone attend meetings, become convicted of sin, and trust Christ. Only a tiny few are ever saved, because the vast majority, like Herod, never get past hearing of the fame of Jesus. So, is it pointless to go forth with the Gospel? No, of course not. Even if there are few that are saved, they are saved, and one sinner coming to Christ is worth whatever effort is required on our part to see.

Herod never got past hearing of the fame of Jesus. But some of those around us might, if we are faithful in praying for them and speaking to them. -Jim MacIntosh

Comments are closed.