Our people had been subjected to foreign rule for as long as I can remember. The Herods considered themselves to Jews, but they were deeply rooted in the traditions and laws of Rome.
Each day was filled with challenges. Women were considered second class citizens, but held in high esteem by our husbands and families. Our daily tasks included gathering water from the well, grinding wheat into flour, making bread, milking the goats and making cheese. We also spun wool from our sheep into thread and then wove cloth and made it into clothing.
Life was hard, but we endured, because we knew that God had a plan for our lives. We didn’t have the luxuries of the very rich. There were only two classes of people – the rich and the poor. The middle class consisted of the merchants, but even they had to submit to Roman rule and heavy taxes.
I’ll never forget the fear that filled my heart at the time my first born Son’s birth. Herod, the Great had ordered the death of all boys under the age of two. Every mother wept at the thought of losing babies, but some escaped. We fled to Egypt for refuge. There were those that perished at Herod’s order. So many babies were killed needlessly. Blood flowed like rivers through the streets.
Now another Herod was ruling. This one was as brutal as the other. John, the Baptizer’s mother knew him as the man who took the life of her son. After being thrown into prison for stirring the people with his words, his life was snatched from him as his head was severed from his body and presented to Salome as a trophy. The cruelty never ended with this family.
I wondered what would happen next under these devilish facilitators of Roman rule. Would we never be free of them? My heart weighed heavy with these thoughts as my Son continued His ministry. What would happen next?