Having come from a long line of sociopaths, Herod Antipas relished in the shock and awe of his domain. The more outlandish the behavior, the better. Like his father, Herod, the Great, he was much a chip off the old block. His dad was responsible for the death of the innocent babies at the time of Jesus’ birth. It must’ve been a family trait, because Antipas lived a pretty shocking lifestyle himself.
He married twice. His first wife was Arabian, whom he eventually divorced. He then married Herodias, his own niece and the wife of his half-brother Philip, and persuaded her to leave her husband and to accompany him to Tiberias. In fact he lured her away from her husband and his relative. When his first wife heard of this, she told her father of her disgrace and he waged war on Antipas. Herod simply divorced his first wife.
John, the Baptist condemned Herod for his infidelity and incest which sealed his eventual beheading. Herodias was the one responsible for it because of her daughter’s demands, but Herod carried it out. Herodias was a social climber and wanted her husband to achieve more than he did. She was always interfering in his political dealings, pushing and driving his every move. She must have had tremendous influence over him.
Being the show man Herod was, he was intrigued by the man called Jesus and was anxious to see some of His miracles. When called on to intercede in the crucifixion of Jesus, Herod jumped at the chance to get a look at this fellow. Jesus knew this was the man responsible for His cousin, John’s death. He could’ve zapped Herod right there, but He said nothing. Because Jesus remained silent, through Herod’s interrogation, He was sent back to Pilate because Herod didn’t want any part in the politics of this event.
Isn’t it amazing how God orchestrates everything to accomplish His plans for us. Without the bad guys, there would have been no crucifixion, no death and no resurrection. Of course, I’m sure God would’ve found another way to make it happen, but it’s exciting to see how all these characters had such an important role in the carrying out of our salvation.
Oh, what a great God we have. He’s given us the victory over death and has designed our life here on earth, according to His exquisite blueprint.