Jesus’ Trial Before Herod

Bible Event – Jesus’ Life

Map of First Century Iudaea

Time: Good Friday: – Approximately 7.00am

Have you seen two lifelong enemies suddenly becoming the best of friends? It happened between Herod and Pilate!

At the time of Jesus’ arrest, Herod (Antipas), the son of Herod the Great, was the ruler of Galilee and Perea while (Pontius) Pilate was Prefect of the Province of Judaea which included the regions of Judea, Samaria and Idumea. Together they ruled two distinct parts of the wider Iudaea Province but both held a deep-rooted hatred for each other. It has been suggested that Herod resented Pilate because of his infringement on his authority when he ordered the killing of Galilaeans as they gave sacrifice in Jerusalem. (Luke 13:1)

Herod was in Jerusalem for the Passover. He had never met Jesus but often expressed a wish to do so and watch Him perform a miracle presumably, to gratify his curiosity. So, when Pilate sent Jesus to his court because Jesus was from Nazareth in Galilee, “he was very glad”. (Luke 23:8)

A group of chief priests and Jewish Experts in the Law accompanied Jesus to Herod. They were, “vehemently accusing him” as they did when he was with Pilate and wanted Him executed. (Luke 23:10)

Herod questioned Jesus, “at considerable length” but Jesus didn’t answer him nor perform any miracles. Herod, with his soldiers, then treated Jesus “with contempt and mocked Him”. (Luke 23:9,11) However, despite his questioning and insults, and the protestations of the Jews, Herod could find no fault with Jesus and had Him sarcastically dressed “in elegant clothes,” perhaps like a king, and returned Him to Pilate. (Luke 23:11) 

Jesus, in Herod’s assessment, had done nothing wrong but because Pilate had sent Jesus to Herod, respecting his jurisdiction and power, from that day onwards “Herod and Pilate became friends with each other”. (Luke 23:12) (Luke 23:6-12)

Thought

Why did Jesus not respond to Herod’s battery of questions?

It was a fitting response. It’s a commonly used reaction when people question others to feed their frivolous curiosity or tell blatant lies about their character.

Reflection

Lord Jesus, open my heart to your suffering during your trial by Herod and my eyes to the times when I have deceived my friends despite your merciful and endless love towards me.

Prayer: Abandonment(Charles de Foucauld)

Father, I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you;
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve
and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father.