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Jesus before Herod Antipas (Luke 23: 6-9 NLT)

“Oh, is he a Galilean?” Pilate asked. When they said that he was, Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction, and Herod happened to be in Jerusalem at the time.

Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle. He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus

refused to answer. 

The key text here is verse 9 – And he questioned Him]at some length; but He answered him nothing.

Jesus has been through the ringer. Pilate surely wants nothing to do with this. Being the master politician he seeks a way out. “Wait a minute? This Jesus is not from my jurisdiction, is he?” Jesus is found to be from Herod’s jurisdiction. Them two (Herod and Pilate) were in no way friends, but here’s a chance to appease Herod. So, Pilate sends Jesus off to Herod as a gift.

Going back a bit. Mark 6.

Jesus send His disciples out in pairs. They were casting out demons and healing people. Herod heard about this. He heard that this was Jesus’ men. The people were saying that John the Baptist’s spirit was raised from the dead – Jesus’ source of power and influence. Herod had reason to be concerned.  Herod was a super superstitious man whose wife was wearing the pants. Herod actually enjoyed listening to John (vs. 20). John confronted Herod about marrying his brother’s wife -Herodias. On account of this John was arrested. Herodias cooked up a plot which caused John to be beheaded. John raised from the dead in the form of Jesus? Worried? Scared? Concerned?

Let’s revisit Luke 23:6-9

Herod was conflicted but wanted to meet Jesus. When in front of Herod, Jesus said nothing despite the way Herod treated Him.

** Moore (“Herod’s last chance to repent was through John’s preaching, whose head he cut off”) 628.

Herod was the only person in the Gospel that Jesus intentionally did not speak to. He had flat out rejected the truth. Especially when truth confronted him. Now his heart was hard. He was toast! Jesus would not even waste an ounce of breath speaking to him. This was a sad state!

What does this mean to me as a minister?

I need to understand my priorities. The truth of the Gospel must be preached. Sin must be confronted and cannot be tolerated (especially in my own life). I must preach it and live it. Truth gives life. Sin leads to death.

What should be our response?

There comes a point when your rejection of the truth leads to a hardened heart. We never want anyone to get here, but some will. We must deal with the root causes of issues or some may be damned to hell, as was the case of Herod. Jesus saw fit not to even bother. This one was toast! Look at the response to John when confronted with truth? Kill the man of God (Actually, he didn’t want to kill him. It was his evil wife! Still, he had no spine). Herod proved to be a poor listener to John. He’d be the same even if Jesus spoke. He rejected the message, the messenger (John) and the Messiah. Totally lost!  This text begs me to consider how I will do ministry and how committed I am to my own relationship to Christ


Moore, M. The Chronological Life of Christ. The United States of America: Zondervan (2011)



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