Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Luke 9:7-9 Have you Heard of Y’shua or do you Know Him? Part 1

From the day that John the Baptizer was arrested by Herod Antipas (the tetrarch), Y'shua had been standing in Herod's front yard proclaiming the Kingdom of God. Masses of people came to hear him. They witnessed healing, freedom from demonic powers and even resurrections. Who was this man?

Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, by some that Eli'jah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen. Herod said, "John I beheaded; but who is this about whom I hear such things?" And he sought to see him.

Luke 9:7-9 RSV

Peter said, "The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." 2 Peter 3:9 The social outcasts like the woman with the flow of blood is as important as a synagogue official. This Herod, the son of Herod the Great who killed the babies of Bethlehem, hoping to kill the King of the Jews in that bloody sweep, will also have a chance to be saved by faith. Unfortunately for this Herod, he will go down in history as one who hears the word but does not understand it. Luke 8:5 and 12

It stuns me to realize the gift of mercy that was given to Herod Antipas. The words of Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers, could be said of John to Herod Antipas, "As for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good. . ." Gen 50:20a Elohim sent two witnesses to Herod. The first was John the Baptizer. The other was less well known but may have had at least as much influence.

John feared no man. At the risk of an audit (at least in my world) he witnessed to tax collectors. He called on soldiers to repent without fear of reprisal. He not only spoke the truth to the religious but told them of his disgust (you brood of vipers!) Luke 3:12-14 It should not shock me that John would proclaim the message of "repent" to the self proclaimed "king", the tetrarch of Galilee. FF Bruce, in New Testament History, records that Antipas visited his brother Philip at Philip's home, where he fell for his sister-in-law. He divorced his wife of 20 years to have her. Torah allows a man to marry his sister-in-law IF her husband has died without a child. Phillip was still alive and she obviously had a child. John spoke to his face about their sin. Antipas could not have the popular preacher inciting the crowds against him. He had him arrested. Scripture records that he "liked to listen to him" and I'm fairly sure they didn't swap stories of their childhood. Herod had private audiences with the forerunner of Messiah.

There is a hint of another witness at a personal level in Luke 8. As Y'shua went from town to town proclaiming the gospel, a group of regulars accompanied him. Among them is a woman by the name of Joan'na, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward. The wife of the man who has the most trusted and constant access to Antipas was a close and constant follower of Y'shua. Luke 8:1-3

For Luke to say that "Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done…. " seems like an understatement.

My dad is a mechanic. I watched him work on cars for most of my childhood. I've listened to him tell others what could be done to make their cars or boats run well. Sometimes I can listen to a squeal or a ping and can correctly say what the problem is because of my time with my dad. Just as often I get it all wrong. My dad used to say about me that I know just enough to be dangerous. My brothers tell me that I am mechanically inclined because I can screw up anything. (they bought me the T-shirt). After all the time I spent listening to my dad and watching him work on cars, I was absolutely clueless the first time I had to change the oil in my car. I don't know cars, I know about them. And I do know enough to be dangerous. While driving my youngest to work early one morning I watched the temperature rise in my car. My solution, much to my son's horror, was to drive faster to get more air flow and maybe cool the engine. Jason, who does know more about cars then me even though he never (as far as I know) spent time with my dad in his garage, knew we needed to pull over and shut things down. I do know just enough to be dangerous. In spite of the witnesses that Elohim sent to Herod, as much as he knew about the coming Messiah and the Scripture, he knew just enough to be dangerous, not safe.

He had heard that the great prophet Eli'jah, who had not died, would be coming back (Malachi 4:5). He seems to know that a prophet like Moses would come (Deut 18:15-22) but is sketchy on the details. One thing he is sure of, he seems to have another John on his hands, a man whom the crowds adore.

I hear so many people speak of my Messiah in crisis . . . "pray for me because _____" They call him "the man upstairs" They blame Him for the consequences of their own sin, not realizing what he has already done for them because of their own sin. They compare his love for them to their mother or fathers love and demand to know how he can call himself a God of Love. They hope they can do enough good in their life to "outweigh" the bad, the sin, to avoid Hell. They know enough to be dangerous. Thinking that they can do enough good deeds to not go to hell, they do not know that all their righteous deeds are but filthy rags to Elohim. The only righteous deed that out weighs sin is the sacrifice of Y'shua/Jesus, by faith. Being born from on high, dying to self and living for him who died for us. There is no other way. Religion alone is "knowing enough to be dangerous." Doing good is "knowing enough to be dangerous." Just knowing about Jesus is dangerous, but knowing him is eternal, abundant life.

FF Bruce, New Testament History, c. 1969, Anchor Books edition 1972 New York


  1. you are invited to follow my blog

  2. Thanks Steve, I read it regularly.

  3. I agree Rainsong. For some, it would be better if they did not know about the truth, then to know about truth and don't obey It.