Doubt silences and kills Jesus

‘When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased because for a long time he had wanted to see Him. From what he had heard about Him, he hoped to see Him performed some miracles. He plied Him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. …The Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked Him…’ (Lk 23:8-11)
Herod the tetrarch was not a true Jewish king. His father, Herod the Great was a puppet of Rome. He became king thru politics. He became friends with the Caesar in Rome who just placed him on a throne in Jerusalem. He was the one who killed all the babies in Jerusalem trying to kill the infant Jesus. After his death, his kingdom was divided into four, a part for each of his sons. This is how Herod ‘junior’ became king. He divorced his wife to marry his sister in law, Herodias, who was also his niece. John the Baptist rebuked him and for that, the prophet died.
Herod was a worldly man. He was also a religious man. Jesus calls him ‘a fox’. This animal symbolizes a low class, weak and deceitful man; someone who lacks power and dignity; the total opposite of what it means to be a king. It also represents a dangerous, secretive, doubting, gossiping, slandering and unstable person. In other words, Herod was a doubter.
Herod liked to listen to John the Baptist. He enjoined the prophetic anointing as the best entertainment there is. But at last, when faced with the decision to kill John or to displease Herodias and his political guests, he killed John. This is a great lesson here: it is not enough to like going to church, to enjoy prophetic utterances. If faith is absent, doubt will manifest and prevail at last and kill the very thing you treasure.
When Jesus became ‘famous’ in Palestine, Herod thought the He is John risen from the dead. This gives us a hint of a troubled conscience. It is possible that Herod regretted his decision to kill John. But the same doubt tried to convince him that it was a necessary crime, to save his marriage and status as a king.
It is a terrible thing to live with a troubled conscience. The only cure is to come to the cross and repent. Only the Blood of Jesus cleanses and heals a weak, evil and troubled conscience.
The conscience is a warning system, as part of the spirit of man. God planted it there to warn against any evil or trespass against the law of God. Just like pain is given as a gift to the body, so that we know when there is a sickness, so also the conscience is for the soul. To ignore the warning of the conscience is to weaken and eventually destroy its sensitive work. A man with a dead conscience can kill another without feeling any regret. I heard that Hitler’s strategy was to desensitize the consciences of his people. The young soldiers will say again and again: ‘Hitler is my conscience! Hitler is my conscience!’ That is how they could do horrors and feel no fear or regret. It is the same strategy the suicide bombers use in terrorists attacks. It is not courage that sends them to die. It is an evil, dead conscience that helps them to feel nothing.
The final stage for Herod is seen later, when face to face with Jesus, the only thing he wants is just some magic, some miracles or pure entertainment. Gone are the days when he wanted to listen to the Word of God thru the mouth of John. Now the Word incarnate stands before him and he is not interested at all. Jesus keeps silent. No Word, no Miracle…Herod did not know that on his birthday, when he silenced John the Baptist, he silenced the God who sent him.
It is said that for as long as there is life, there is hope. But from the picture of silent Jesus in front of a doubting king, we should say that for as long as Jesus speaks, there is hope. For faith comes by hearing of the Word of God. But once the Word of God shuts His mouth, the man is doomed. He may still carry a crown on his head, but the life and the hope is gone forever! Selah!
Rejected by Jesus, Herod mocks Jesus. Doubt hates to be defeated. When doubt prevails, it kills the God who holds its breath.
After Jesus died, Herod was betrayed by Herodias’ brother who went to Rome and convinced the new Caesar that Herod is an enemy to the empire. The Caesar convicted Herod of treason and sent him into exile to a village in today France. Herodias was given a choice to stay or to follow. She chose to follow him. They both died there. Nobody knows where they are buried. This is the tragic end of a weak, doubting and reprobate man and his wicked wife. God forbid!
Doubt is a criminal! If it sits on the throne of your heart, it will eventually destroy your worship and destiny.
Repent! Seek the Lord and His mercy! Do not rest in prayer until God speaks a fresh word to your heart!
Speak Lord!
Let Your Word speak!
Let Your altar speak!
Let Your fire speaks!
Let Your Spirit speak!
Let Your prophets speak!
In Jesus name, Amen!
(Jam 1:1-8; Mk 6:14-29; Lk 13:31-32; 23:1-12; Heb 9:14)

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