Meditations on The Passion–February 27th

Jesus before Herod 18When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. 9He questioned him at some length, but Jesus* gave him no answer. 

Herod did you know? Did you know that this man was the one your father wiped out a generation trying to kill? Was the story of the prophecy and the wise men who gave your father the slip recounted over and over as your grew up? Or was it never mentioned again; all those innocents slaughtered (Matthew 2), and never given another thought? Did you know that this meeting was thirty-some-odd years in the making? The sins of the father here to be finished by the sins of the son. Is that why you were so eager to meet him? Did you know all this Herod? Did you inherit your hatred? Did your family line destine you for violence against this silent man? Or is your desire to kill him (Luke 13:31) born afresh in you? What is it in this silent prophet you all find so threatening and so fascinating? Are you so insecure in your power that you must eliminate any and all opposition? Are you, like your father, so cowardly that you stand by and let others carry out the deed you want done? So many questions, but you give us no answers.

Image: “Christ before Herod Antipas” by 17th century German painter, Nikolaus Knüpfer.