Disclaimer: this is not a political statement. I really am not concern with anyone else’s partisan persuasion, it’s just that America’s recent history (translated: in my memory, which is longer than some of my current contemporaries, I realize…) lends itself to a good comparison.
Anyone old enough to read this has an opinion of some kind about the Trump/Clinton election and the media’s reaction. Sparks are still flying over that one, and will continue to do so. It’s the American way.
What many of the younger generation may not remember, to no fault of their own since many of them were in diapers or not even born yet, was the Reagan/Mondale landslide of 1984.
I recall my brother, living in Minnesota at the time (the only state that Mondale carried), was surprised at the result, since the media there portrayed quite a different tune for their state’s home boy. (BTW, for the the younger set, this was before the days of internet and insta-news. We actually had to wait for information.)
Of course, we could go back even further for things that make those in the know go “HUH?!?”—
This phenom of leadership getting their cage rattled is nothing new, thankfully.
“When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, heard about everything Jesus was doing, he was puzzled.”
I love it when arrogant elitism gets that deer-in-the-headlights look.
The locals were saying this was John the Baptist, but Herod himself had had John’s head served up on a silver platter at his last dinner party. Some said this itinerant preacher was a prophet returned from the dead, maybe Elijah. Granted, that would be a bit unsettling. Either way, Herod was more than merely puzzled; he was intrigued, and it says—
“…he kept trying to see him.”
Persistently. Which I find kind of funny when I think about it, because this is a guy with the power of life and death in his hands, military might at his disposal, and he can’t send out a little muscle and bring in some wandering Jew?
On the other hand, we next see the work crew that Jesus has recently sent out to heal the sick, raise the dead, and preach the Gospel just now returning, so Jesus takes them off alone for a rest break. However…
“But the crowds found out where he was going, and they followed him. He welcomed them and taught them about the Kingdom of God, and he healed those who were sick.”
Moreover, what follows is one of the grandest picnics in history with the feeding of 5000-plus with a few loaves and fishes.
The real climax, however, comes when the people finally go home (well fed, I might add, both spiritually and physically!) This is when Jesus asks his closest friends who the people think He is, to which they give some of the same pat answers that were given to poor puzzled Herod.
Then comes the point-blank, finger-in-your-face question, the one that all of us must answer—
“But who do you say I am?”
Followed by Peter’s famous confession that reverberates throughout all eternity.
Here’s the point. With all of his inquiries and power and intellect, Herod could never find the answer or push his way into the truth; whereas, the people, in all their misery and humility, betook themselves to Jesus, and He received them with open arms. Herod was persistently curious. The people were persistently desperate.
God generally doesn’t do things the way we expect Him to. He doesn’t fit our puzzle. We can’t assume, manipulate, or demand.
We can only approach. It’s only the open hands that receive the open arms.
Luke 9:7,9,11,20 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.