ANTIPAS ANTICIPATES AMUSEMENT
Luke 23:8 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.
Susan: Herod had been anticipating an encounter with Jesus for a long time, not because he thought Jesus might be the Messiah but because he wanted to see a miracle. He wanted to exhibit Jesus as one would a court juggler to perform wonders for him and his guests.
Susie: Herod did not view Jesus as a criminal but rather as some sort of religious fanatic, someone to be ridiculed rather than feared and worshipped.
Luke 23:9 Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.
Susan: Of all His interrogators, Herod was the only one Jesus completely refused to answer. He stood silent before Pilate at times but answered Him on other occasions. He answered the Chief Priest’s point-blank questions as to whether He was the Son of God.
Susie: But before Herod, the adulterous king who had married his brother’s wife, imprisoned John the Baptist for preaching against his adultery, and eventually presented the Baptists’ head to his wife’s daughter on a platter, Jesus fulfilled the prophesy of Isaiah:
Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Susan: In his divine appointment with the Ethiopian eunuch, Philip the evangelist used this passage in Isaiah as a jumping off point to explain the Gospel, ultimately ending in the baptism of the eunuch in a nearby body of water. Not a passage I would choose to present the gospel, but the Lord gave Philip a message using exactly what the man was already reading.
Acts 8:32-34 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
Luke 23:10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.
Susie: Apparently Jesus’s accusers (the chief priests and scribes) had followed him from Pilate’s governor’s palace to the lodging place of Herod who was in Jerusalem for the Passover festivities.
Susan: The religious leaders, seething with anger, hurled accusations at Jesus like the eruption of a volcano in voices as shrill and irritating as fingernails on a chalkboard.
Luke 23:11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.
Susie: Nought means “nothing.” Herod and his soldiers ridiculed Jesus viewing Him as not even worthy of a verdict. They scorned the idea of this “nobody” being a king, let alone their Messiah.
Susan: Herod probably selected a kingly robe from his own wardrobe, something worn and soon to be discarded. However, it had at one time been the bright robe that a king would wear on a festive occasion. Thus, dressed in Herod’s hand-me-down clothing, Jesus was returned to Pilate.
Luke 23:12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.
Susie: Pilate had shown respect for Herod’s position by sending Jesus to be judged by him even though his motive was to pass the buck rather than be responsible for passing judgement on Jesus. Having shared in this difficult situation, Pilate and Herod set aside former differences and began a lasting friendship. Shakespeare wrote, “…misery
acquaints a man with strange bedfellows…” in his work The Tempest. Charles Dudley Warner said, “Politics makes strange bedfellows.” These sayings were true of Herod Antipas, king of Judah, and Pilate, the Roman governor.
Ponder this and Apply it: Note that Philip was able to take the passage the Ethiopian eunuch was reading and proceed to explain the Gospel, the truth that Jesus was the Son of God, the long-awaited Messiah and that He had died in our place on the cross. He preached the resurrected Jesus to this seeker God placed in his path on the road resulting in the Ethiopian confessing his belief and desiring to be baptized in the name of Jesus. How prepared are you to answer a friend’s questions about scripture? Can you carry out the command in 1 Peter 3:15 (NASB), “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”?