Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle. He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus refused to answer. Meanwhile, the leading priests and the teachers of religious law stood there shouting their accusations. Then Herod and his soldiers began mocking and ridiculing Jesus. Finally, they put a royal robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. (Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.)(Luke 23:8-15a)
Eva Marie Everson, www.evamarieeversonauthor.com wrote her story about a short-term boyfriend, Stephen. Stephen told Eva Marie she had an enemy, his fiancée. Days later, his angry fiancée saw Eva Marie and followed her home. They became enemies when Stephen’s fiancée walked toward Eva Marie, ready to attack her. Before the attack, Eva Marie told the fiancée she had broken up with Stephen; she had better things to do with her life than date an unfaithful man. The two became friends because they had a common enemy, Stephen. It is an example of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
Herod petitioned Julius Caesar and was denied rule over the territory Pilate was ultimately given. Bad feelings followed, and they became enemies. Herod had long been looking forward to seeing Jesus perform miracles, but Jesus wouldn’t perform one to gain Herod’s favor or answer his frivolous questions, so Herod became angry. Like Pilate, he bullied Jesus.
There’s a deeper significance here than Pilate and Herod becoming friends through a common enemy. Many commentaries noted that through Jesus, enemies can become friends. But Pilate and Herod didn’t turn to Jesus, they turned away from Him. Also notable, Jesus wanted them to become friends to teach a lesson. It wasn’t a coincidence Herod happened to be in town.
Jesus realizes the enemy helps people love money and power and aids them in bullying those they feel are beneath them. That’s why the Bible says, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood (people), but against the rulers … powers, … and the spiritual forces of evil.” (Ephesians 6:12a) Our fight isn’t against the bullies of the world, it’s against the enemy who influences them. “For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.” (Romans 11:32)
I think about the probability someone who has hurt me deeply will be in heaven also. I don’t hold grudges, but heaven is a place of true love. I think this passage gives a glimpse of heaven. In the presence of Jesus, we’ll see our enemies are innocent as Herod and Pilate saw Jesus’ and one another’s innocence. With Satan gone, God’s love will prevail.
Father God, I praise you for wonderful Bible lessons and look forward to living in a place where the enemy is not welcome. On earth help me see people as Jesus does – innocent. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.