Jesus amazed people. He went about touching unclean people, healing sick men and women and casting demons out of the possessed, things which no one had ever seen. And so His popularity grew. Everyone could see He was more than just an ordinary teacher or prophet. Yet in his home town, the people refused to acknowledge that He was anything special or had any authority. They saw Him as a mere carpenter who had no religious training.
Jesus’ fame grew even more as He sent forth His disciples to preach, heal and cast out demons. This attack on the kingdom of darkness attracted the attention of King Herod who thought John the Baptist has arisen from the dead and was coming back to judge him. He had imprisoned John because he dared to speak boldly against Herod’s adultery. Herod was a weak-willed bully who was afraid of God but one day, inflamed by drink and the seductive dance of his stepdaughter, he made a rash vow and had John the Baptist beheaded. Apparently his fear of God was far outweighed by the opinions of his friends.
God often uses fear to turn sinners to Him. Unfortunately, Herod, like most people today, was too proud to allow his fear to lead him to humility and repentance. His behavior is imitated by many politicians and other people today who ignore the voice of the church of Jesus Christ which is calling out for godliness in government and personal life. Yet so many political leaders prefer to maintain the favorable opinion (and money) of their supporters rather than heed the voice of the Lord. Whether or not they realize this, they have put their eternal souls in jeopardy and have led many astray. We must pray for them that they would humble themselves before the Lord.