Sampson Kasapakis is a recent graduate of the Masters of Divinity Program at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He currently works at the Orthodox Christian Network as the Parish Relations Coordinator and at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church Fort Lauderdale, FL as the Youth Director.
Matthew 14:1-12 – Herod’s Fears
Meaning of the story: The importance of knowing the people of the Bible passage, who they really are, and what their role is in the Bible passage.
Today we are going to talk about the two main people in this Bible passage we will cover today. We will cover what their roles are and how they are different.
Herod the Tetrarch
1. Generally known as Herod the Tetrarch or Herod Antipas. Caesar Augustus of Rome ratified Herod’s position as tetrarch when his father, Herod the Great, had died and his kingdom was divided into four parts.
2. There are plenty of Herods throughout the Bible. This one is not to be confused with:
a. Herod the Great, his father, who ruled when Jesus was born – Mt 2:1,3,19
b. Herod Agrippa I (nephew), who killed James in Acts 12:1-2
c. Herod Agrippa II (grand-nephew), before whom Paul appeared in Acts 26:1
3. His “Accomplishments” as Tetrarch: Governed Galilee and Perea for 42 years (4 B.C. – 39 A.D.), Built the cities of Sepphoris, Tiberias, and oversaw other projects, Imprisoned and executed John the Baptist (Mk 6:14-29), Sought to kill Jesus because He described Herod as “that fox” in (Lk 13:31-32), Later mocked Jesus prior to His death, which led to friendship with Pilate (Lk 23:7-12).
4. Herod had the potential and power to be a great man. But those in positions of power often have personal failings. Such was true of Herod Antipas since he was easily manipulated.
St. John the Baptist:
A. He was faithful to the Word:
1. His message was a call to lead everyone to repentance (Mt 3:1-2)
2. He did not back away from pointing out the sins of the king since Herod had married his brother’s wife, Herodias. It was an unlawful marriage for several reasons: a) Philip was still living, making it adultery; b) She was Herod’s niece; c) The Law prohibited marrying a brother’s wife – Lev 18:16; 20:21.
3) Rather than change his message to accommodate the king, John was willing to go to prison and ultimately die for the Word of God!
The difference between them: Fear!
Let us think to ourselves, what is our deepest fear?
Ending Quote from Marianne Williamson:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
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