“During the night before Jesus was crucified,” Stan began, “there was all sorts of stuff going on with Jesus’ trial.”
Continuing, he said, “First, he went before a council of elders that consisted of chief priests and scribes. Then they took Jesus to Pilate, who sent Him to Herod. Then Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate.”
“A lot of moving around,” I replied.
“You got that right,” Stan replied, and continued, “and there is something about when Jesus was before Herod that really caught my eye this morning. Something that at one point in my life was similar. And, if I am not careful, it is something that can still be a part of my life.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Luke’s gospel indicates,” Stan replied, “that Herod was really glad to see Jesus, but that it was for the wrong reason. Just like it was and can be with me.”
“Herod wanted Jesus to perform a miracle. Luke describes it as a ‘sign’. Herod didn’t want to know anything about Jesus, he just wanted to be entertained by seeing Jesus do something.”
“Did Jesus do that?” I asked.
“Nope,” Stan replied. “Jesus didn’t do or say anything. I think it was because Jesus knew Herod’s heart, that Herod was not sincerely seeking anything Jesus had to offer. Not unlike me, when I want only what Jesus can do, rather than wanting Him, and Him alone.”
Continuing, he said, “Jesus knew Herod did not believe in Him. Same thing with me before I came to believe. Jesus knew I did not believe in Him for who He is. He knew I only wanted Him to do something for me — and that something did not include my acceptance of what He did with His life, death, and resurrection that provided salvation. I only wanted the shallowness of self-focused things that did not really matter.”
“Even today,” Stan concluded, “if I am not vigilant in my relationship with God the Father through Jesus the Son there is always the possibility that I will not seek Jesus for the sake of seeking Him, but will only ask Him to do a miracle. He does miracles, but not in accordance with my schedule.”
“I am to seek to know Him, not just to be ‘entertained’ by what He can do for me. After all, remember what Jesus said about eternal life in John 17:3, that it is all about knowing Him and His Father.”
Now Herod was very glad when he saw Jesus; for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some sign performed by Him. Luke 23:8.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for sending Jesus into the world to provide salvation and a new life through His death and resurrection. Thank you that you allow me to seek all you have for me in spending eternity with you when it is time, as well as the opportunity to pursue knowing you and Jesus on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I want only what you provide, rather than wanting you and you alone. Please forgive me. And please, Father, help me in following your lead in wanting only you, only Jesus, and only the Holy Spirit. Help me in being very glad to see you for only what you want me to see. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.