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. – Luke 23:8 NLT
Pilate, having found nothing about Jesus worthy of putting him to death, decided to buy himself time by sending Jesus to Herod, who was the Roman-appointed ruler over over Galilee. Herod happened to be in Jerusalem that week and was excited to have the opportunity to meet Jesus face to face. He had heard much about Him, and Luke comments that he was anxious to see Jesus perform one of the miracles He was so famous for. But Herod was an evil man with a wicked reputation. It was he who had had John the Baptist beheaded, because John had spoken boldly and bluntly about Herod's immoral relationship with his wife, who he had stolen from his own brother. Herod was a power-hungry individual who had inherited title and power from his father, Herod the Great, the one who attempted to eliminate Jesus after his birth by ordering the murder of all male infants two and under. Herod Antipas was on friendly terms with the Romans because they held the key to his power and influence.
But his only interest in Jesus was superficial. He was curious. He had heard much about Jesus and would have loved to have seen Him perform some kind of miracle or sign, kind of a parlor trick, right in front of him. But Jesus remained silent the entire time He was before Herod. He refused to answer his questions or enter into a dialogue with him. Jesus knew who he was and what he had done to John the Baptist. Herod was unrepentant and unchanged. Herod bombarded Jesus with question after question, while the religious leaders shouted accusations against Him. In time, Herod ran out of patience and his questions because taunts and ridicule. He and his soldiers began to mock Jesus. Then they put a royal robe on Him and sent Him back to Pilate. Even that simple act of scorn was a subtle reminder that Jesus was exactly who He said He was. He was the King of the Jews. He was the Messiah. This Roman-appointed ruler had placed a royal robe on Jesus, unknowingly validating Jesus' claims.
But Herod's curiosity did little to change his view of Jesus, and it did nothing to change his own spiritual condition. He had greeted Jesus with interest and the hopes of witnessing a miracle, but when his desires went unmet, he treated Jesus with scorn and rejected Him. And so it is with many today. There are those who are curious about Jesus and who would love to see if He could do for them what He has done for others. They come to Him driven by curiosity and interested to see if He can make their life better, remove some pain they are experiencing, or simply alleviate the boredom they are experiencing from life. But when Jesus doesn't perform as requested or answer all their questions, they simply reject Him. They do not want from Jesus what He came to offer, but prefer to demand from Jesus what they think they need. When He fails to deliver, they simply cast Him aside as unneeded and unnecessary. I am sure that Herod had no need of Jesus. He was rich, powerful, influential and used to getting his way. He was immune to ridicule and capable of eliminating any and all opposition. Jesus was a blip on the radar screen of his life, who held little or no interest for him, other than as an object of curiosity. His only reaction to the Son of God standing in his presence had been ridicule and scorn. He had missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Father, how many continue to reject Your Son today. They come curious about all that they've heard, but they are unwilling to listen to what Jesus has to say about their lives. They only want from Jesus what they get to decide. But Jesus isn't a personal Genie in a bottle. He isn't a personal life coach intent on assisting us with our self-imposed, self-improvement plans. He came to deliver us from our sin and release us from God's righteous condemnation of death. May my life be witness to those around me, that what Jesus came to provide is so much better than any miracle they may want to see Jesus perform. He came to transform us, not entertain us. He came to restore our relationship with God, not fulfill our curiosity. Let my life be an ongoing witness to that fact. Amen.