Daily D – Luke 9:7-8
Herod the tetrarch heard about everything that was going on. He was perplexed, because some said that John had been raised from the dead, some that Elijah had appeared, and others that one of the ancient prophets had arisen. “I beheaded John,” Herod said, “but who is this I hear such things about?” And he wanted to see him.
LUKE 9:7-8 (CSB)
One of my favorite sayings is, “You do not have to attend every argument you are invited to.” Less well known, but equally true is, “You do not have to attend every execution you’re invited to, especially when it is your own.”
Herod Antipas, here called the tetrarch, was the Roman ruler over the region where Jesus was ministering. He was seventeen years old when Herod the Great died. He and his brothers Archelaus and Philip II were given portions of their father’s kingdom to rule.
The old saying, “Like father, like son,” was proven true in the life of Herod the tetrarch. He was superstitious. He was paranoid. He was nuts.
Notice that Jesus did not rush out to see Herod. Herod the Great had tried to kill him when he was a toddler. Since Herod Antipas killed John, what do you think he might have in mind for Jesus? We do not have to wonder long. Turn to Luke 13:31 and following. Some Pharisees, not always Jesus’ best friends, but also no friends of the Herodians, told Jesus, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.”
Jesus had an appointment with death. As this passage in Luke 13 makes clear, that appointment was set in Jerusalem and not at Herod’s hands. His time had not yet come.
Each of us has a hill to die on. Let us make sure that is the hill we die on. Many will invite us to take our stand on auxiliary issues and die for lesser causes. You and I do not have to attend every execution we are invited to.
What applications does this bring to mind?
This is a thought worth thinking. This is an idea worth pondering. This is a truth worth applying.
I will not die on anyone else’s hill.
Our Father, please give me the wisdom to avoid disputes that do not ultimately matter. Please give the wisdom as well to avoid unnecessary danger from those with evil intent. Keep me aligned with your purpose and directed toward your desired end. Amen.
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Acts 10:34, 35 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”
Acts 5:38, 39 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”