Luke 23:8-12 (The Message)
Herod was delighted when Jesus showed up. He had wanted for a long time to see him, he’d heard so much about him. He hoped to see him do something spectacular. He peppered him with questions. Jesus didn’t answer — not one word. But the high priests and religion scholars were right there, saying their piece, strident and shrill in their accusations. Mightily offended, Herod turned on Jesus. His soldiers joined in, taunting and jeering. Then they dressed him up in an elaborate king costume and sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became thick as thieves. Always before they had kept their distance.
For Herod, Jesus is nothing more than a curiosity. He has heard so much about this miracle worker, this would-be king of the Jews, this radical teacher and powerful leader. Herod is hopeful that Jesus will entertain him with a miracle, a mighty act, or a really good show of power. He has lots of questions for Jesus, too, and now he has a private audience.
How frustrated he must be when Jesus refuses to act, or even to utter even a word in Herod’s presence. It’s easy to imagine his escalating anger as Jesus ignores the questions directed at him. Herod must ask himself whether this man really understands what is at stake. Doesn’t Jesus know the kind of power Herod has over him? Why does Jesus show such a lack of respect for his authority and position?
Deprived of the fun they were expecting, Herod and his soldiers amuse themselves by dressing Jesus up in the finery of an earthly king, and then shipping him off to the Roman authorities for further punishment.
All through this, Jesus says not a word.
What does it mean to you that Jesus endured such disrespect and ridicule without responding?