Herod the Great is featured prominently in the birth narratives. Upon his death his “kingdom” was divided. Herod Antipas took over Galilee and Perea, while Pontius Pilate eventually became governor of Judea. What we find here is the old game of passing the buck! When Pilate finds out that Jesus was a Galilean he sends him to Herod, but Herod sends him right back. Luke records these two events because he wants us to know that even the Roman rulers understand that Jesus hasn’t tried to mount a rebellion. What is most ironic is that the religious leadership may, in fact, be telling a partial truth! Jesus certainly wasn’t trying to raise an army and restore Jewish national sovereignty, and the Romans realize that. But there were many listening to him who thought just that, and some were willing to take up arms (as we just saw with Peter). The leadership lied about most things with the trial, and even lied about Jesus’ intent, but there were people getting “incited” because of their own preconceived notions about who/what the Messiah would be. Perhaps there is a warning here for us. We should always check our motives and understanding against God’s word to make sure that we are thinking properly.
Psalm 119:130 “Your instructions are a doorway through which light shines. They give insight to the untrained.”
We have another warning here. Pilate went along with the crowd and condemned an innocent man while letting someone else, who was actually guilty of insurrection as well as murder, go free. Do we ever let our convictions and beliefs be effected by those around us? How good are we at standing up for what we know is right?
Proverbs 1:10 “My child, if sinners try to entice you, do not consent!”