At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus,
2 and he told his servants, “This is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why these powerful energies are at work in him.”
3 Because Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife,
4 because John had been saying to him, “It is not appropriate for you to have her.”
5 And although he wanted to put him to death, he was afraid of the people, because they held him to be a prophet.
6 But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod,
7 so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.
8 At her mother’s urging, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.”
9 And the king was sorry, but because of what he had promised, and his guests, he commanded it to be given.
into our darkness
The king of Israel was a powerful man. He was also a fearful, evil man who made decisions based on how it looked, or his own lusts. He was caught between his fears and his pride when he ordered the death of John the Baptizer.
Now that he has heard the report about Jesus, his fear returns. He is convinced that Jesus is John resurrected. He hears about all the good things that Jesus is doing, and his reaction is to immediately see a threat to his own identity.
We are like that too. That is why it is so hard for human beings to come to God. Apart from the repentance the Holy Spirit brings to us, we see Jesus as a threat to who we are. We feel compelled to repel him. We see bondage to our own demons as a better deal than the freedom that comes from surrendering to him.
But rejection of Jesus did not work for Herod, and it will not work for us either. There is only one way to eternal life.
LORD, do not give up on us. Keep sending your Holy Spirit into our darkness until we are forced to concede to your light.