Coming of the King: Week 30
Roman Politicians: the same for 2000 years.
- 14:1 "tetrarch" After the death of Herod the Great, his will,
approved by the Roman Senate, divided Judea into four provinces.
- 14:2 A guilty conscience breeds superstition and attempts to
appease the "gods".
- 14:3 "on account of Herodias". The typical politician is controlled by
others. Herod arrests John to appease Herodias.
- 14:4 Herodias was the wife of Phillip. Herod met her while visiting his
brother Phillip, also a tetrarch. They fell in "love", and Herod divorced his
current wife, and Herodias came to live with him (Phillip refusing to divorce
her). Herodias was his half sister, so he was not only living in adultery, but
"marrying" (in effect) a near relative.
- 15:5 While Herodias wanted John dead, Herod does not immediately execute
John, because he is already hated for his abuse of power, and is afraid of a
riot he cannot quell since the crowd considered John a great prophet - he is
also controlled by the people he rules.
We learn in Mark 6:20 that
Herod listens to John in prison and is perplexed, but listens gladly
and protects John because of their talks.
- 15:6 Herodias has a plan to kill John in spite of her boyfriend's
protection. Sex and drugs(alcohol in this case) - always effective in getting
people to sin.
- 15:9 Once again, Herod the politician again does what he knows is wrong -
because he is controlled by his guests.
- 15:13 The death of John foreshadows the death that awaits Jesus,
and He seeks time alone in prayer to prepare for the final stretch.
- 14:16 Jesus demonstrates a principle of the Kingdom. When you are on the
King's business, and something is in the way: ask for a miracle.
- 14:18 "bring them to me" - bring your pitiful poor offering, your
Widow's mite, and He will make something beautiful from it.
- 14:20 "broken pieces" - not half eaten fish sandwiches, but the
pieces that Jesus was breaking off the loaf. God provides
The Beginning of the End
The miracle of the loaves and fishes is recounted in all four Gospels.
It captures the imagination of the people - they can now see Him as
a conquering Messiah. The Romans would be hard pressed to stand
up against miraculous logistics. John records the popular sentiment:
"Truly this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
John 6:14-15, and
the people wanted to make Jesus king by force!
When the Pharisees resisted the offenses of Herod Archelaus against
the Law of Moses, his cruelty was so extreme that Rome banished Archelaus
and removed the scepter (power of capital punishment) from Judah
in fulfillment of Jacob's prophecy, and installing a Roman prefect. Instead of
believing that Shiloh (the Messiah) had come as prophesied, they went mourning
in sackcloth saying "the scepter has departed from Judah and Messiah has
not come - the Scripture has been broken". Now they were determined to
quell another popular uprising lest the Romans take away their nation