For two thousand years now, the world has been hearing about a man from Galilee whose name is Jesus and how He died and was resurrected.
There are many writings, teachings, preachings, and reflections on the personality of Jesus. Many things have been said about Him that marvel at the heart.
We hear about Him every day, in the church, through the bible and writings of saints and apostles but the question that remains is; “who is this Jesus that we have been hearing about?” Who is He to you and me?
Do we truly know Him? Do we have a true relationship with Him? Who is this Jesus? Can we truly have a close encounter with Him?
This Jesus that we use to hear, who is He to us? Who is He to You? What can you say about Him? Is Jesus real? What do we know about Him?
John? I beheaded him; so who is this?
Luke states in today’s gospel that Herod the Tetrarch heard several reports about Jesus and he was anxious to know who He is. Because of the reports of His mighty deeds, Herod was eager to see Him. Herod has heard enough of all that Jesus does.
He was eager to know if He is john the Baptist coming back to life. The reason is that some people say that John had risen from the dead. While others see Him as Elijah who reappears. Herod says, ‘John? I beheaded him. So who is this I hear such reports about Him?’ “Who is this Jesus?” He was very anxious to see Him.
Let us glance at some points from the gospel;
- Herod the tetrarch governs from 6-39 AD. Many commentators say that “as a ruler, he was so proud, ambitious, and selfish. His administration was characterized by crime and luxuriousness.
At a time in this gospel, the same Herod wanted to kill Jesus and some Pharisees told Jesus to leave the place (Luke 13:32-33).
This is a pointer that Herod’s interest is not to have deep knowledge about the Lord but to satisfy His selfish desires. He wants to know if John is back to life or that He wants to see signs and wonders.
Herod does not and has not had a close encounter with the Lord, all the times He is the governor. This is the reason that all He knows about Jesus is from guesswork.
- Through this gospel, one can see that there is a major difference between hearing stories about someone and when you know and relate with that person personally.
We may have been hearing about Jesus and even talking about Him, but the question then is “how real is Jesus to us?” Are we satisfied with only hearing about Him? Can what we know about Jesus come only from guesswork? What can we say about Jesus from our encounters? Who is this Jesus to us?
Is it not also good to seek Him and try to create a perfect relationship with Him to know Him personally?
The point here is that closeness with the Lord will deeply open our eyes to the mysteries that surround His personality.
Today, some people carry the bible not because they truly believe in it. We now use the bible as a camouflage.
When we have a close encounter with the Lord, we shall love Him deeply and will not joke with His words.
Therefore, when we know Jesus truly, we shall seek Him with all our hearts. When we know how merciful He is, we will always come to His presence.
- The gospel tells us today that Herod was very anxious to know Jesus because of the reports he heard about Him and providentially he got that opportunity during the trial of Jesus when Pilate sent Jesus to Him (Luke 23:6-12).
But instead of using such graceful moments to repent and save his soul like the repentant thief at the cross, Herod was only interested to see signs and wonders from the Lord and He got none.
Also, sometimes when we hear about what God has done for someone in a particular place, many people tend to rush to the same place not because they are interested in having a personal encounter but to see if they will also witness their own miracle. When they get none, they lose faith.
We have to know that spirituality is more enjoyable and sweet when it comes from the heart. it is not when we do that for the sake of a particular desire.
What Herod heard about Jesus was more of His mighty deeds and that is why he was interested to see one. Herod got none.
In Matthew 16:4, Jesus also tells the Pharisees that they are demanding signs. None will be given to them except the sign of Jonah.
Therefore, We cannot force God to do things that are not His will. What God needs from us is not the quest for signs and wonders but sincere repentance and closeness with Him.
- Herod is a tetrarch and a tetrarch means someone who is in charge of one-fourth of the country.
Being at the top, if truly Herod wants to see Jesus and he has genuine and true hunger to see Him, he would see Jesus because Jesus has been moving around his territory. But it is either Herod sees it as belittling, or that he is too proud to do so.
To truly seek Jesus and have a personal relationship with him, we have to humble ourselves and give Him a chance to come into our hearts.
We need to show the hunger and eagerness to know Him personally. Deep and personal encounters with the Lord will convince us of who Jesus is. A true relationship with God comes from a deep encounter.
- Finally, a critical look at the gospel will definitely tell us that none of the people who surround Herod knows Jesus truly.
What they were telling Him was their imaginations about who Jesus is.
Many of them perceive Him as John the Baptist who comes back to life. Some of them say that He is Elijah and other mighty prophets.
It is an indication that the people who surround Herod do not know Jesus. They would at least tell him that He has been preaching about the kingdom of God.
In the same vein, when we surround ourselves with people who do not know anything about the faith, they may possibly infiltrate our minds with false truths about the faith and personality of Jesus.
Let us always be around those who will always uplift our faith.
To know who is this Jesus, we need to be anxious about Him.It is not seeking Him only for signs and wonders but to have a personal and intimate relationship with Him. So, who is this He to You?
To answer this question, defines our level of relationship with Him.
May God bless you dearest and give us the grace to know Jesus intimately. May He never allow you to be defeated by circumstances. Amen.