Luke 23:8 - When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see Him, because he had heard about Him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by Him.
When Pilate sent the prisoner Jesus to King Herod, he provided Herod with an opportunity he'd wanted for a long time—the chance to meet Jesus and hopefully see Him do some miracle. But it didn't work out. Jesus refused to speak. He had no interest in doing miracles for Herod, like a circus performer on display.
When Herod realized he wasn't going to get a show, he became angry. He and his soldiers mocked and mistreated Jesus.
Why didn't Jesus give Herod what he wanted? Jesus had better things to do. He was in the process of carrying out God's plan to rescue the whole human race. He was on His way to the cross, where He would break the power of sin and death forever. None of this involved doing shows for Herod or for anybody else. Jesus stayed silent. Disappointed, Herod sent Him back to Pilate—who ultimately condemned Him.
It's easy to blame Herod. But there are times when we, too, would like to see Jesus do a miracle. Sometimes our motives are good—we want to see a loved one healed, or a dangerous situation turned around. But sometimes our motives might not be so pure. Who of us has never wanted God to prove His existence by showing us a sign? "Force my friend to believe in You—show him what You can do!" And of course God doesn't. He has His own plans, and they do not involve showing off for people who refuse to believe.
What do we do when Jesus refuses to do the miracles we want—when He won't speak—when we are face to face with a silent God? We can do what Herod did—reject, mock, and send Jesus away. Or, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can humble ourselves and trust in Him, knowing that He will do what is best. After all, that's what Jesus did after Herod's interview. He went on to suffer, to die, and to rise again—so that He could bring all of us who trust Him to eternal life.
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, help us to trust in You even when You are silent and we are afraid or grieving. Amen.
If you could choose one miracle for God to do, what would it be?
When did you face a time when you asked God for a miracle and He did not do it?
How do you cope with the silence of God?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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