The Gospel of Luke | News Travels Fast | Luke 9.7-9 |

by | May 4, 2021

“Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life.But Herod said, “I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?” And he tried to see Jesus.” Luke 9.7-9

News travels fast. And news of Jesus spread like wild fire. Even in Israel, where prophets like Elijah, John the Baptist and others made a big impact, what Jesus was doing was unheard of and astonishing to hear.

The “Herod” referred to in this passage, according to the online, was “Herod Antipas, (born 21 bc—died ad 39), son of Herod I the Great who became tetrarch of Galilee and ruled throughout Jesus of Nazareth’s ministry. In The Gospel According to Luke (13:32), Jesus is reported as having referred to him with contempt as “that fox.” [ › Herod…]

He was the son of Herod the Great who first tried to kill Jesus when he was two years old and living in Bethlehem. This Herod the Great, built the Herodium and other palaces in Israel according to the famous Jewish historian named Josephus ( Neither of the “Herods” appeared to be friendly with the idea of a coming Messiah. Both were Jewish leaders under the rule of the Roman Empire.

This account in Luke gives evidence of the historical existence of Herod Antipas, also supported in extra-biblical writings, and of the existence, life and witness of Jesus. Herod, who would have been threatened by any other leader with power, was eager to see Jesus and perhaps dispose of him as he had John the Baptizer.

News of Jesus’ works traveled fast in a land without technology, media or the internet. Word spread by mouth, experience and witness. And if word had reached Herod, who was at the top of the ruling Jewish order, word was everywhere. People were talking about Jesus, wanting to see him, hear him, and some were placing their hope in this man from Galilee.

The historical existence of Jesus is also proven not only through Biblical writings but extra-biblical as I mentioned earlier. His impact reached the secular as well as religious communities of the day. And with this subsequent death, resurrection and ascension, the Holy Spirit would come upon those early Jesus followers and begin to take the news to the ends of the earth.

How are you helping to spread the news of Jesus today? If he’s impacted your life, why not share about him with others?

“O Lord God, you are faithful. Even when I turn away, you remain constant. You have been transforming hearts and souls since the beginning of time. Your name is famous and your word renown. Come now, Holy Spirit, help us be the vessels by which your gospel continues to spread. To every new generation, let them hear the ancient story and then encounter the Living God. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen