This Herod is the grandson of tha Herod who was responsible for the death of the boys under two in Bethlehem. Then, the Romans allowed four descendents of that Herod the Great, to rule over four sections of the Holy Land that remained subject to Rome.
When this Herod took over the wife of his brother Phillip, John the Baptist condemned him and her. That wife, Herodias, then goaded Herod into putting John into a basement cell..
Highly fascinated with John, Herod used to sit halfway down the cellar stairs from where he could listen to John speaking with the jailor.
In the next chapter of this story, when Herodias had her daughter request the head of John the Baptist on a platter, Herod, for fear of having his guests laugh at him, sent a man to cut off John’s head.
Next, when Herod heard about Jesus, the wonder worker, he found him even more fascinating than John the Baptist.
And then, he was happy as could be when Pontius Pilate sent Jesus over to him. The play “Jesus Christ Superstar” gave a very good picture of Herod when he sang, “Come on Jesus, play the fool; walk across my swimming pool.”
The Bible does not give us these pictures of Herod so that we might enjoy ourselves scorning him. No, Herod is there to warn us from falling into his faults. We should not develop a similar faulty character, ruled by our love of ease and by our worry about what worldly people think of us.
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