The Incestuous Judge
For the time being, the trial moves over to Herod. It is a chore to keep up with all the guys that go by the same name in the New Testament. This Herod – Herod Antipas – was the youngest son of Herod the Great. The latter was infamous in Scripture for the slaughter of the innocents near the time of Jesus’ birth. He was also a legendary builder. He was the force behind the reconstruction of the temple in Jerusalem which became eponymous with his name. After a bit of a family scrum, Herod the Great’s youngest son – Herod Antipas – took over the family business.
So, we meet up with Herod Antipas shortly after John the Baptist is winding down his meteoric ministry career and Jesus is beginning his. With his fiery preaching, John the Baptist had no qualms about calling out anyone on anything and that certainly included Herod Antipas. It seems that on a visit to Rome, Herod Antipas dropped in on his half-brother, Herod II, and there fell in love with Herod II’s wife, Herodias. (Are you still with me)? Both Herod Antipas and Herodias divorced their spouses forthwith and were soon married. That was bad enough, but the scandal was all the more sensational because Herodias also happened to be the niece of her new husband! As Solomon once said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
It didn’t take a preacher with the chops of John the Baptist for this nuptial indignity to cause a stir. This little scandal was actually the cause of a couple of wars. But all that notwithstanding, it was John who turned up the heat and in turn ended up with his head on a platter – removed from its shoulders at the behest of Herodias’ famous dancing daughter, Salmone.
So…it is this Herod that we will meet up with tomorrow: When Pilate heard this, he enquired whether the man were a Galilean, and when he discovered that he came under Herod’s jurisdiction, he passed him on to Herod who happened to be in Jerusalem at that time. ~Luke 23:6,7