Luke 23 v 9. “He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer.”
The Herod to whom Pilate sent Jesus was Herod Antipas, who was Tetrarch of Galilee. Herod was called “King” but in reality a Tetrarch was only a governor of some sort. Galilee was always a hotbed of revolution and agitation against the Romans; so Pilate saw an opportunity to make some kind of political overture to Herod and it seemed to work (verse 12).
Here is a little more information about this particular Herod. He was made Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea about 4 BC after the death of his father. However after visiting his half-brother, Philip, he commenced an affair with Philip’s wife, Herodias. The two of them eloped and it was John the Baptist who rebuked him for his sin (Luke 3 verses 19-20). John was imprisoned but while in prison Herod had many conversations with John. The story between Herod and John can be read in Matthew 14 verses 6-12, Mark 6 verses 21-29 and Luke 9 verses 7-9.
Herod eventually had John beheaded but it seemed that a certain fear took root in his heart, hence the words in Matthew 14 verses 1-2 and Luke 9 verse 9. This was the man to whom Jesus was sent. A man who was cruel, immoral, impenitent, restless, inquisitive, superstitious, and although now an older man, still wicked. He had heard of Jesus, in a way feared him, and wanted to be entertained by him by hoping Jesus would perform miracles for him like a cheap magician.
The most telling comment Luke makes about this story is in our verse for today – verse 9. Jesus simply does not speak to Herod. There are other occasions in the gospels where Jesus remained silent, but not in the same way that he remained silent before Herod. According to Mark 6 v 20 Herod had been talked to and reasoned with again and again. But he ignored all warnings, and then did the unthinkable – he silenced the voice of the prophet that called him back to God. Now he received no answer from Jesus to any of his questions, and deserved none.
How dreadful to reach that point in one’s inward spiritual journey where one has crossed a certain unseen line and forfeited all future opportunity. What a lesson for us.
When all light is gone from the soul, all one can do is vilify, ridicule and mock. That is what Herod did to the background noise of the fake accusations made against him.
Meaning to mock him as a King, they put a robe on him and sent him back to Pilate.
No word from God
A silent Saviour
Crude and mocking ridicule
Darkness descends even as they laugh at the King of the Jews.