Luke is the only one of the gospel writers to favor us with the information about Jesus’ “trial” before Herod. This is another very unorthodox trial and was intended as a way for Pilate to pass the buck.
Herod had heard about Jesus previously and wanted to see Him. He probably heard about Jesus directly from John the Baptist. He also heard of the miracles Jesus had been doing. As ruler over Galilee he probably got reports of Jesus’ movements in that area quite frequently.
Herod wanted to see Jesus for entertainment purposes only. He wasn’t interested in what Jesus was teaching. He had listened to John’s teaching but refused to adhere to it. He had plenty of opportunities to change his ways, but he was unwilling to do so. He wanted to see Jesus just so he could watch Him perform some kind of miraculous sign. I wonder what he had in mind for Jesus to do.
Jesus was having no part in fulfilling Herod’s expectations. Jesus refused to answer any of Herod’s questions or to respond to the religious leaders’ accusations. No way was He about to perform for Herod! I wonder if Herod would have tried to protect Jesus, as he had attempted to do for John the Baptist, if Jesus had given him some kind of sign. That wasn’t part of God’s plan though. Jesus needed to go back to the Roman authorities to receive the sentence of crucifixion prophesied in the Old Testament. I wonder if Herod would have stuck with Jewish consequences if he had found Him guilty.
When Jesus wouldn’t even speak in Herod’s presence, Herod’s cruel streak surfaced. Luke tells us that Herod and his soldiers treated Jesus with contempt and mocked Him” (verse 11). Herod was taking his frustrations out on Jesus. It was Herod’s idea to array Jesus in a royal robe before sending Him back to Pilate. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the robe used was one of Herod’s old ones.
Jesus wouldn’t “dance” for Herod so he sent Him back to Pilate. What Herod didn’t send back was a guilty verdict. The chief priests and scribes tried with all their might to convince Herod to find Jesus deserving of death, but he didn’t. Herod was grateful to Pilate for the opportunity to have a go at Jesus but probably also relieved he didn’t have to deal with the situation himself. I wonder if Herod attended or went by the crucifixion place.
Lord Jesus, You were/are no one’s puppet. You move in and through us every day to create YOUR own will. You don’t bow to the will of the people just to appease them. You pursue the whole truth and work on the complete plan. Nothing sidetracks You from Your plans and goals. Thank You for Your focus. Thank You that, no matter what Herod threw at You, You managed to hold Your peace through it all.
Father God I want to be that bold. I don’t want to “dance” to someone else’s tune just to make them happy. Help me always follow Your plans, no matter how hard the enemy comes at me. Thank You too that where I live, physical persecution is very rare. Guard my mind too Lord because THAT is the main battle front in our society. Help me always stand for You.