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Lesson # Matt. 14:1-2
Study Material - Matt. 14:1-2
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1 At [en] that [ekeinos] time [kairos] Herod [Herodes] the tetrarch [tetrarches] heard [akouo] of the fame [akoe] of Jesus [Iesous] ,
2 And [kai] said [epo] unto his [autos] servants [pais] , This [houtos] is [esti] John [Ioannes] the Baptist [Baptistes] ; he [autos] is risen [egeiro] from [apo] the dead [nekros] ; and [kai] therefore [dia] [touto] mighty works [dunamis] do shew forth themselves [energeo] in [en] him [autos] . KJV-Interlinear
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the news about Jesus, 2 and said to his servants, 'This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead; and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.' NAS
'The fear of man brings a snare', Prov. 29:25. This principle is apparent in this story about the death of John the Baptist. Herod was a little man, not of stature but with respect to his pettiness toward life. All of the factors of fear, hatred, and anger culminating in the abuse of law and the execution of John, come together here in these verses. Herod was an evil man. His evil nature resulted in the murder of family members and in his ruthlessness lust for power.
Herod the tetrarch was a son of Herod the Great by his fourth wife, Malthake, a Samaritan. He was a half brother of Herod Philip, the son of his father's third wife, Mariamne the Boethusian.
Herod the Great was Idumean, and therefore a Gentile, but he married a Samaritan, and because of this and his ruthlessness he was despised greatly by the Jews. Some of his cold-blooded atrocities include his having all the members of the Sanhedrin put to death for daring to challenge his authority, having at least one of his wives and two of his sons executed, and slaying all the male babies of Bethlehem in his unsuccessful attempt at trying to destroy the Messiah. He was not a nice person.
Herod the tetrarch was known as Herod Antipas. After the death of his father, Herod the Great, the Romans divided the kingdom (Palestine) among three of his many sons (Herod, Archelaus, and Philip). Archelaus was given the southern provinces of Judea and Samaria, Philip was given the northern provinces of Trachonitis and Iturea, and Herod Antipas was given the area in the middle, which included Galilee and Perea.
Herod the tetrarch heard the news about Jesus. Herod was in his thirty-second year of rule. This notion that Herod feared Jesus thinking that Jesus was the resurrected John the Baptist who had come back to haunt him, did not originate with Herod but that he had 'heard of all that was happening; and he was greatly perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead, and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others, that one of the prophets of old had risen again,' Luke 9:7-8, Matt. 16:14. Since Elijah carried quite a reputation in that time (even still does in our current day), then it was understandable that the guilt of Herod and his paranoia of fear of Jesus, would eventually lead to the crucifixion of Jesus.
Remember that Jesus had to go through six trials before the order was given to have him executed. He was guiltless, but the overriding politics of the day took control over rational thought. Jesus came to this earth to save mankind, to be a sacrifice, the lamb offered in behalf of mankind. To do this man had to reject Him and the laws of the land had to reject Him, and the entire system had to fail so that He would actually go to the Cross. The Cross is still a year away, but already the public appeal and the mental fear experienced by one who would become a major player in the crucifixion, was working within Herod.
God works history with great finesse. Events that occur today in each of our lives did not magically come into play just today, but more than likely have been building up for many years, and building up through many peoples and many series of events which all brought them together in some event of your life. You can probably look into your past and then into your present and future, and see the marvelous links and connections that have resulted in where you are today, and in where you are headed in the future.
Herod lived in or near the Sea of Galilee, yet there is very little documented with regard to His interaction with Jesus except at the end of Jesus' ministry. Jesus walked through Herods jurisdiction over and over and that no doubt contributed to Herods paranoia from the guilt of John's death.
Here also is another example of a hard walking path or road, where the seed sown by the farmer (recall that parable), landed on a hardened path of negative volition toward the seeds of the gospel and doctrine. In the last chapter the people of a city in Nazareth rejected Christ. Here the man rejects Him. In Nazareth the people were common. Herod thought of himself as a king though Caligula rejected his request for that title. The people of Nazareth saw Jesus grow up and therefore they knew Him and His family. Herod had many sources of information, so He knew of Jesus works, miracles and teachings. No one had any excuse for not seeing the truth. What everyone had were hardened souls of defiant rejection. And this attitude would result in the crucifixion of Jesus and resultant victory of Christ on the Cross.
What the people and the leadership of the region would perceive as a victory for themselves, would eventuate in their own destruction. Their own fault. God never pushes anyone off the cliff. All negative people run off the cliff under their own power and desire. They reject the warnings that there is a cliff ahead.
The people of Nazareth rejected Jesus because of their jealously - one of their own (just someone common in their eyes) who presumes to be the Messiah, of all things! Herod feared loss of power and authority and position, and that fear of loss of control is a very common source of trouble, not only in Jesus time, but is very common even in marriages where one person (either the husband or the wife) becomes abusive toward their spouse in order to maintain their position of power.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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