Nobody Loves Herod Like Herod
Read Matthew 14:1-12
It's always about us. That is perhaps the truth of our age, but is also it seems a truth of every age. Human beings, left to ourselves, will often make whatever happens simply about us and our needs and our power. I heard recently that believers can do compassion for others for just so long, until eventually even compassion for others will interfere with our own sense of power and justice. At some point we have to choose whether or not we will look to what is in the best interest of all or simply in the best interest of self.
Herod is selfish. King Herod always sees life and power through the lens of his own self interest. Herod had his own son killed because he believed that the son was a threat to his power and his position as king. For Herod, the most important thing was always to look out for Herod. Nobody loved Herod like Herod.
So maybe it should be no surprise that when Herod hears of Jesus, he immediately sees it through the lenses of selfishness and power. Herod assumes that Jesus is John the Baptist who has come back from the dead in search of vengeance. After all, even Herod is seems feels guilt and shame over what he did to John. Jesus becomes an enemy of Herod because Herod immediately sees Jesus as a threat to his power and his position. Herod can only see the world through the lens of self and power.
The good news is that we live within a different narrative. Selfishness and power are always there to be sure, but through Christ we are able to look to something different as our hope. Selfishness and power can even take those we love, as John was taken from those that loved him, but in the end love wins and God brings peace! Nobody loves us like God and that's the best news of all.