The gospels have much to say about Herod. According to the Gospel of Mark, Herod “liked to listen” to John the Baptist, and feared John as a”righteous” man. (Mark 6:20). However, Herod’s true character is to mock God. When John boldly spoke against Herod for taking his brother’s wife, Herod had this prophet imprisoned (Mark 6:17) and had him executed as a gift for his step daughter (Mark 6:21-28). When Jesus was ministering and healing, some of the people thought he may be John the Baptist, resurrected, and this intrigued Herod to want to see Jesus (Luke 9:7). This desire of Herod’s did not spring from a genuine need of repentance, but out of curiosity. Herod would meet Jesus, when Pilate sent Jesus to him for trial. Herod was excited, but found Jesus would not answer his questions. It is Herod who had Jesus mocked with a purple robe and crown of thorns. (Luke 23:11).
Jesus knew very well Herod’s character. He warned the disciples to “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.” (Mark 8:14). Herod was an enemy to God. Like a politician, Herod knew how to manipulate and appease the people, and Jesus did not want his people to be misled. Therefore when the Pharisee’s came to Jesus, out of the false pretense of caution, telling him to flee because Herod sought his life, Jesus told them, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.'” (Luke 13:32). Jesus let them know he was not afraid of Herod. He told them to let him know he would continue his work, and only at the appointed time, would he leave. That time was not up to Herod, but to God. We should pray that Jesus shows us the foxes of this world, that he shows us the true character of those who claim to lead us. We should always know that Jesus is our true king, no other.