Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Perils of Convenience

7 And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.
8 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.
9 Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.
10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.
11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. (Luke 23:7-11)
When I read this this morning I was struck by the fact that Herod was excited to see Jesus and that he had wanted to see him for a long time. What a disappointment he must have felt to be asking lots of questions, wanting answers, and receive silence in return!

Why did Jesus remain silent when He had the opportunity to teach a ruler who was eager to see Him and eager for answers?

His mortal ministry was over and now was the time for Him to die for all man. His time of teaching was past. If He were to open His mouth now He might be prevented from reaching from the cross.

But what of Herod’s soul? Surely Herod deserved to hear the gospel too! I read over these verses again and then I realized that Herod had already had his chance. He had heard many things about Jesus already.

It says Herod had wanted to see Jesus for a long time. Okay, so why didn’t he just go see Jesus before? Why didn’t he search Jesus out? He was rich. He was powerful. He could have cleared his schedule for a day or a week or maybe even more.. But maybe it didn’t seem convenient. All that common, ignorant rabble around all the time. Who likes to fight crowds? So instead he waited and waited and finally Jesus came to him. Ultimate convenience! As part of the course of usual business of the day he could interview Jesus at his own leisure. But unbeknownst to him, the time had changed, the window of opportunity had closed.

But maybe Herod’s interest hadn’t been the right kind. It says he hoped to see Jesus do a miracle. Sounds like he wanted an entertaining magic show more than anything else. So when he finds there will be no miracles forthcoming, he falls back on entertainment plan B—making fun of Jesus. You have to get your fun wherever you can, right?

So what do I get from this? It seems pretty clear to me that I have to go searching for truth and not wait, because there will come a time when the window of opportunity and time for searching will end. It shows me that if I wait until it is convenient, I will probably have waited too long. And it shows me that I also have to search for the right reasons. Following Christ isn’t about being entertained; it’s a matter of life and death.