Lessons from Jesus' Appointment Book

Lessons from Jesus' Appointment Book

Words of Faith 6-28-18

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Luke 9

       [7] Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed, because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, [8] others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. [9] But Herod said, "I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?" And he tried to see him.

 

      We don't know any details about the ministry of the disciples after Jesus sent them out on this mission trip, but we know they got some attention!  As the Twelve went through the villages and towns, their ministry attracted so much attention that people began to think that Jesus might be John the Baptizer, Elijah or one of the prophets brought back to life.  Even Herod, who was responsible for the region of Galilee, heard about their ministry but did not understand it.  He tried to see Jesus.

       So who was this guy that was calling for an appointment with Jesus?  Herod Antipas was one of the sons of Herod the Great, the one who killed babies at the time of Jesus' birth.  From 4 B.C. to A.D. 39, Herod Antipas ruled over northern region of Israel called "the Galilee".  He was the Herod of Holy Week and the trial of Jesus.  He ruled from the Roman city of Tiberius located on western shore of the Sea of Galilee.  The fact that he was trying to make an appointment to see Jesus, and that Jesus "couldn't fit him in" was big deal.  It would be like one of us not being able to make time to see the governor of the state we live in.

        Can you imagine Jesus' "Message Box" filled with little message slips saying: "Mr. Antipas called again and wants to set something up.  Lunch next week?"  -- Pete

        We must remember that Herod Antipas was known for two things.  He had a ruthless ambition and an illegal marriage to his brother's wife, Herodias.  It was John the Baptizer who made Herod's sin a public issue while preaching in the desert.  Oddly enough, Herod liked John. "When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him" (Mark 6:20).

         John was probably one of the few people Herod met who spoke only the truth to him. But the truth about his sin was difficult to swallow.  And John wouldn't shut up.  Herod couldn't afford to have John constantly reminding the people of their leader's sinfulness, but he was afraid to have John killed due to his popularity.  He put off the choice and eventually Herodias forced his hand, and John was executed.

        It is little wonder that Herod identified Jesus with John.  Herod didn't go for the idea this was John resurrected, but probably wanted to get to the bottom of this.  We have no evidence the Jesus ever met Herod Antipas prior to the trial of Jesus.  Herod probably couldn't decide what to do about Jesus.  He didn't want to repeat the mistake he had made with John.  His effort to set up a meeting may have been a way of threatening Jesus.  It is interesting that when Herod finally met Jesus during Jesus' trial, Jesus would not speak to Herod.  Jesus had nothing to say to him.  Herod responded with spite and mocking.

        What do we get from this page in Jesus' Appointment Book?  Perhaps, one lesson is to observe the way that Jesus prioritized life.  Jesus had time to go across the lake and gain the release of a demon-possessed man.  Jesus had time for the woman in the crowd who had been very sick for so long.  He also had time to raise the daughter of Jairus the synagogue leader from the dead.  He had time for His disciples.  But He didn't have time for a governor who would not listen to God.  There is a lesson there about our priorities in life. 

        It is easy to get caught up in the importance or rank of a person without consideration of whether they are actually willing to hear from God.  The priority of Jesus is toward those who listen, no matter what level or strata of society they come from.

 

       Father God, help me to learn from the example of Jesus.  Help me to prioritize my time and life in a way that hears the genuine needs of people.  Help me to see past rank and position.  Help me also to see anything that might keep me from hearing You clearly.  Give me a spirit of repentance so that I may walk in the forgiveness You have provided for me.  In Jesus' name.