The Herod family highly valued their title: King of the Jews. So much so that Herod the Great had boys under 2 years old killed in hopes of eliminating baby Jesus (Matthew 2). His son, Herod Antipas killed John the Baptist (Matthew 14:1-12) and wanted to kill Jesus (Luke 13:31-32). In Herod Antipas’s court he interrogated the silent Jesus in the midst of shouting religious leaders. Herod and his soldiers mocking and ridiculing Jesus, putting the purple robe of royalty on His shoulders before sending Him back to Pilate (Luke 23:1-12).
BOOKENDS AND ROBES
For Luke, the purple robe forms a front bookend to the end of his gospel and the beginning of Acts through chapter 12 where Herod (Acts 12:20-25) dons a royal robe that Josephus describes:
…he [Herod Agrippa 1] put on a garment made wholly of silver, of a truly wonderful texture, and came into the theater early in the morning. There the silver of his garment, being illuminated by the fresh reflection of the sun’s rays, shone out in a wonderful manner, and was so resplendent as to spread awe over those that looked intently upon him. Presently his flatterers cried out, one from one place, and another from another, (though not for his good) that he was a god; and they added, “Be thou merciful to us; for although we have hitherto reverenced thee only as a man, yet shall we henceforth own thee as superior to mortal nature.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_Agrippa
That robe event provides the concluding bookmark with Herod the Great’s grandson being eaten to death by worms because of his desire for the praise of men as the King of the Jews (Acts 12:23). From the appearance before Herod in Luke 23 and Jesus’ passion until the explosive beginnings of the church through Acts 12 the Gospel begins its advancement into the rest of the world.
KING OF THE JEWS
GIVE GLORY TO GOD
Herod provides a significant reminder to all of us as we seek our own recognition, popularity and fame. Paul encouraged the church in Corinth:
”So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”1 Corinthians 10:31
After all, as Peter said, God’s divine power has given us everything we need to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3).