As we read through Luke each week there will be two devotions focusing on particular passages. Click here to read past devotions.
Focus Point: Politics (Luke 9:7-9)
This is not the same Herod who murdered the babies of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16). That was Herod the Great, who passed away not long after Jesus was born (4BC). Nor the Herod of Acts, who was eaten by worms (Acts 12:19-23), which is Herod Arippa. This is Herod Antipas, the Herod who imprisoned and executed John (his head on a platter). But my point is not about the messy Herodian Dynasty, instead the power of politics: “And Herod tried to see Jesus” (v9).
But Herod would not see Jesus until he was a prisoner passed from Pilate. Though Herod pressed and piled on questions, “Jesus gave him no answer” (Luke 23:6-12).
Can you imagine a pastor turning down the invitation of a senator or president? Yet Jesus, rather than pursue and use the power of politics, walked among the people. Spreading a message of the Kingdom, that did not seem concerned with actual empires.
Connecting to Today: My peer group met with pastor and author Brian Zahnd (I mentioned him in the last devotion). Beyond discussing a book, he also talked about the church’s future. He urged us to separate from the right and left narrative, which is driven by politics of this age. Rather than conservative or liberal churches – which are issue based – we need to find the way of Jesus. One that lets go of political power to pursue people.
We are living in age of Herod chasers. And the church is crumbling. But the Spirit is still at work and that is where we need to be. Of course there we still encounter the day’s issues. But rather than labels we will find faces… faces to love.