…But Herod the tetrarch who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison (Luke 3:19-20).
“How dare he challenge me like that? Doesn’t he know who I am?” Like most wealthy, powerful people, Herod didn’t want anyone telling him he was wrong, especially not a young wilderness wanderer, who went around wearing camel’s hair and eating locusts and wild honey. The Baptist didn’t like Herod’s choice in women, but wasn’t that Herod’s own business? True, he had married his half-brother Philip’s wife, the ambitious Herodias. But what was that to John? It was fine when John was laying into the Jewish religious leaders, but Herod thought his family should be off-limits.
But God had sent John to confront sinners, so they would acknowledge their sin and find forgiveness in the promised Messiah. It didn’t matter how high and important you were. John knew it was better to face up to your sins now, so God could take them away. The alternative was to wait until life was over, and you were standing before God’s judgment seat.
Herod should have listened to John’s words and repented; instead, he seized and arrested John. He added this to his many other sins. Not only had he refused to heed John’s timely warning and escape the wrath of God, he cut John off from the people who desperately needed to hear God’s warning.
THE PRAYER: Almighty God, Your Word confronts my pride and my sin. For Jesus’ sake, move me to repent of my sin and seek Your forgiveness. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, I ask this. Amen.
*Thank you to Lutheran Hour Ministries for providing this devotion.