Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some…
Our Lord had very little to do with the "kings and rulers of the earth," but they did occasionally cross his path. At such times he bore himself as we should expect he would - he who was so far below and yet so much further above them. I/is relations with Herod, as suggested by the text, were these -
I. THE TEACHER CAUSING TROUBLE TO THE TETRARCH. Herod "was perplexed" by all that he heard concerning Christ: his own wonderful works and those which he commissioned and enabled his apostles to perform (vers. 1-6) made an impression which entered and disturbed the palace. We have reason to think that in Herod's case the fame of Jesus brought not only mental perplexity, but moral perturbation also (see Matthew 14:2; Mark 6:14). He could not understand who this new, great prophet could be, and he consulted his court respecting him. But it was his own apprehension, if not his conviction, that the man whom he had so guiltily slain "was risen from the dead." His carefully trained judgment told him that he had nothing more to fear from that faithful spokesman of the Lord. But his conscience, that struck deeper than his judgment, compelled him to fear that he had not seen the last of that beheaded prisoner. It is a very easy thing to take a human life, but it is a very difficult thing to escape from responsibility for a human death.
1. Christ's coming to us has caused and will cause a large amount of intellectual perplexity. The world has for eighteen centuries been asking who he is, and what is the true and full account of him. In this mental perplexity there is nothing to be regretted; there is no better subject on which the human intelligence could be employed.
2. Christ's coming to man has occasioned much trouble of soul. The truths he taught, the life he lived, the claims he makes upon us, - these have stirred the human conscience to its depth; they have awakened a sense of sin and ill desert; they have turned a strong light upon the guilty past and the perilous future; they have called forth much self-condemnation and self-reproach. It is well that they have done, it is right that they should do so.
II. THE TETRARCH DESIRING TO SEE THE TEACHER. "He desired to see him," perhaps to have his mental curiosity set at rest; perhaps to have his conscientious fears appeased; perhaps for both these reasons. Certainly not in the hope of hearing heavenly truth, of hearing that Divine wisdom which would enable him to be a better man and to live a nobler life. And his motive being low, it proved, as we might have expected, that when he did see him, the interview gave him no gratification, but only added to his guilt (Luke 23:8-11). It is well, indeed, to wish to come into the presence of Christ, but whether the fulfilment of our desire will end in good or evil depends mainly upon our motive.
1. A selfish spirit is almost sure to be unblessed, is most likely to have its guilt increased thereby.
2. A spirit of mere curiosity will pro].)ably return unrewarded, though it may meet with a gracious benediction.
3. A spirit of devotion and inquiry will certainly gain a blessing from his holy hand. We may look at -
III. THE TEACHER AND THE TETRARCH IN THEIR STRONG CONTRASTS.
1. Of present position.
2. Of moral character and the purpose of their life.
3. Of their destiny. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead;