Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen. Herod said, “John I beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see him. Luke 9:7-9
People have been confused about Jesus from the beginning. In today’s verses we see that Herod the tetrarch was also confused as to who the man was that was going throughout his country working miracles. I think his biggest fear was that Jesus was really John the Baptist come back to life. It would be a bit disconcerting to think the man you had beheaded was alive again and moving with impunity throughout the land.
Herod was not the only one confused as to who Jesus was. Some of course said John the Baptist. Others though Jesus was Elijah come back to earth. Then there were some who were not ready to pick a specific prophet but were sure Jesus was one of the prophets of old. It seems like they were ready to pick anyone except for the promised Messiah. This in spite of the fact that Daniel had foretold that the Messiah would come at this time in history.
As I have written before, not much has changed in two thousand years. People today are still confused as to who Jesus is. Many are convinced that Jesus is just a great teacher. Not any different from Confucius or Buddha, just a man and nothing else. I think C.S. Lewis countered this view best in his book Mere Christianity when he wrote, “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Some today who follow Mohammad this Jesus is a prophet, second in greatness to Mohammad. Others believe Jesus is an angel or maybe another God but not the God. Then there are some who believe Jesus never existed in spite of all the historical evidence to the contrary. All of them refuse to believe that Jesus is who He claimed to be the Messiah, God incarnate. To do so would mean all the other religions are wrong and in the pluralistic society we live in that is unacceptable. We are not allowed to tell anyone they are wrong with the sole exception of Christians. No one seems to have a problem telling us we are wrong.
Have a blessed day,