Scripture reading: Luke 3: 1-6, 18-20; Luke 13: 31-33
Who is the fox in this story? Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, the puppet ruler of Galilee for the Roman Empire; the man responsible for the execution of John the Baptist and the ruler in charge of Galilee when Jesus was arrested and crucified. It’s interesting to me that both John the Baptist and Jesus outwardly insulted this politician. John condemned Antipas for marrying his own niece and brother’s wife, and Jesus just flat out called him a name. I do love Jesus’s response when told that Herod would have him killed. Hey, you fox, I will keep on, keeping on. There’s no stopping me. You may have me arrested, beheaded like my cousin, or worse, but I will be back. You just wait and see.
Charles Spurgeon, my favorite preacher of all times, wrote in a sermon, “Herod the Great may be called a lion, but our Lord very descriptively called this lesser Herod a fox, saying, “Go and tell this fox.” He was a man of dissolute habits and frivolous mind; he was very much under the sway of a wicked woman, who destroyed any little good there might have been in him: he was a lover of pleasure, a lover of himself, depraved, weak, and trifling to the last degree. I almost grudge to call him a man, therefore let him only be called a tetrarch.” I love to read Spurgeon’s old sermon’s. Here’s a link if you would like to dig a little deeper. His sermon’s never disappoint, even if they were written in the 1800’s. https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/our-lord-before-herod/#flipbook/
We are glimpsing at how things were governed in a Judah while Jesus was on earth. Judah was a client kingdom. The Roman empire were experts at taking over lands, and setting up governments that were subordinate to their leadership. The Jewish client kingdom was run by it’s own king, that answered to the Roman Emperor, and Herod was one of these kings. We will see Herod again soon. Jesus confronts “the fox”. We will see him again during Passion week.
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