Posts Tagged ‘Herod’


Acts 12:11, 21-23
Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating”… On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

Today’s chapter was a hard one to read because it spoke about the reality of our Christian faith. As hard as we try to make the Gospel sound appealing, the truth is that in Christ, there will always be persecution because he went against the grain of this world and against Satan and we by following him are doing the same. The murder of James by King Herod and the persecution of the Church (Body of believers) was a reality of the day, yet their numbers grew! As you read the passage above, what do you notice about the difference in Peter and Herod’s response to a situation of praise?

Peter was jailed to be executed and was saved by God’s angel. His response was to glorify God for sparing his life and he went to share the news with his family in Christ. However, in contrast, when Herod received accolades about how he sounded like God and did not refute it, God struck him down. God in his goodness and love saves us from destruction but we in our need for glory often forget to thank God for his exceeding goodness and face the consequences. God reminded me today that he loves me and blesses me and he expects that I live for his glory alone, not mine. My new life is not mine but his and for his glory and I am grateful that he has offered me eternity in his presence which supersedes anything this world has to offer.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Acts 4:24-28
“Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.’ Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.”

I penned the reaction of the leaders a day too early and I suppose it is what we would expect from hard hearted people, not unlike ourselves before we were saved by God’s grace. As I read through today’s chapter, the grateful prayer of the new church caught my attention. They prayed not thanking God for Peter and John’s release but glorifying God. They praised God for how he brought about his perfect will through the meaningless sacrifice (In the eyes of the Jewish elect) of his son and servant, Jesus Christ, and that the Lord would enable them to perform miraculous signs in Jesus’ name for his glory. What could God achieve by sacrificing his own son and what glory is there to work among the common folk?

As we continue to journey through life, the reality of how short life can be keeps looming close to our hearts and minds. There are no safe havens anymore here on earth as crime and corruption have reached the very core of our souls. In these times, what hope can we have in trying to live for ourselves when nothing is for certain? However, with Jesus, we have hope of eternity in God’s presence and that’s a hope no one can ever take away. We are encouraged again this morning that our lives are for the service and glory of Jesus and that’s all that matters. His life was not one of power and authority the way the world sees it but of meekness and majesty. He is our Servant King and we are his grateful servant followers.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Luke 23:8-12
When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.

Jesus is and was always highly regarded for his magical powers, at least to the unbelievers. There have been many who have been compared but none that equalled him like Houdini, Blaine, P.C. Sorkar, etc. For an unbeliever like Herod, Jesus was merely a court jester of sorts because he was hoping to be amused by him. In his seat of power, he felt no one could cause him any harm, even if that person were to call himself the Son of God! What was even more interesting was that he considered this gesture of Pilate sufficient to consider him a friend rather than a foe because Pilate was showing him the respect due. Is it not amazing that we see people in very different lights through the suffering of our Lord?

As a Christian, I have had the opportunity to see many Churches around the world and meet many people of varying beliefs and I have found it interesting that to some, believing in Christ was because of a miracle they witnessed in their own lives. However, it is worrying that this would be sufficient for them to base their faith in God because with God, we are called to believe not only in his works but to submit to his entire being and to follow him to the cross. Jesus offers us a way to be with him in heaven but the path is treacherous and the end might be painful. Jesus does not offer us a bed of roses for a life where he becomes a genie. I hope that you see Christ from the foot of the cross, much like the other criminal who was crucified with Christ and said that he was being punished justly whereas Jesus was not. Are you fully submitted and do you realize what your commitment to Christ means?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Aboriginal Fishermen