Luke 23:8-11 ESV
Don’t diss my friends (disrespect)
Near the end when the Roman authorities detained Jesus it seems like they were all unsure about what should be done. That’s because they were thinking about politics and what they could ‘gain’ from this Jesus.
Apparently King Herod had been told about the Nazarene called Jesus.
We know from Luke 23:8-11, “When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate.”
We know from this portion of scripture that while it was true that Herod wanted to see Jesus, what he was really looking to see is what kind of side show Jesus could do.
He was seeking entertainment. He wanted to see signs and wonders.
Instead, Jesus gave Herod nothing. Jesus didn’t even respond to Herod (which probably ticked off the King ‘real good’.)
All the while Herod was waiting for the magic tricks to begin, the priests and scribes were yelling and accusing Jesus of all sorts of things.
At some point when Jesus didn’t respond to Herod, he joined with his soldiers in mocking him.
Their ultimate attempt to make fun of Jesus was to dress Him in clothing fit for a King and send Him back to Pilate, the Roman Prefect (Governor) of Judea.
They problem they had with what to do with Jesus is that they weren’t totally sure if letting him live or killing him would be better from a political standpoint. Plus, Jesus had done good things. How could they sentence a man to death for healing a paralytic, or giving a woman scorned her dignity back.
They just weren’t quite sure what to do with Him.
They knew there were powerful Jews who opposed Him, but there were also powerful Jews who seemed to be following Him. I’m sure word had gotten out that Nicodemus secretly met with Jesus and didn’t find fault with Him.
I would guess their main objection to Jesus was that He became famous and well known. When Jesus started attracting crowds of 4,000 and 5,000, I’m sure that got the attention of the Roman authorities.
Honestly they might have been thinking if one Jew could attract 5,000, could that grow in time to 10,000? And how could the Roman Soldiers handle a crown that large if things got out of hand?
They had to be thinking this could be a military nightmare if Jesus’ following continued to grow.
Then when Jesus was given the opportunity to have an audience with King Herod and He refused to even defend Himself, they would have been totally baffled about what to do about Jesus.
Jesus was from Judea which was a remote corner of the empire. It had even been said early on by one of His followers that nothing good can come from Nazareth (John 1:46).
So, why did this man born of humble parents in a remote corner of the empire attract so many followers?
What was it about Him that was different?
And why, oh why when He had the odd opportunity to defend Himself did He look the other way?
The answer of course is simple.
He knew without His death there would be no resurrection.
Without His resurrection He would go down in history as a fleeting celebrity who did a few good things.
Without death and resurrection the veil between life and death would not be torn from top to bottom. Because the veil was torn top down first, we know it was not torn because of an earthquake (because it would have been torn bottom to top). The tearing of the veil by God signifies God opened the door to eternity. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Yea, Jesus had the odd opportunity to defend Himself, and He could have done just that.
Instead He chose to make eternal life possible for me and for you.
Back in the 70’s there was a popular saying, “If you were the only person on earth, Christ would have still suffered and died for you.” (Unknown Origin)
When I was younger the saying didn’t mean so much to me as it does today. I suppose maybe I’m more sentimental than I used to be, or maybe just maybe as the years add up, I’m ever so much more aware and grateful for all God has done for me.
I’d sure like to think that is the case!
Spiritual Practice: Be Grateful
Today, be grateful that Jesus died for you,
In God, Deborah