After yesterday’s debacle, I really hope things are back on track today. Hannah has produced the notes this week.
Oh dear, this is one I would rather skip over if I’m honest. I’m not such a fan of worms. You can read the passage here.
So Herod has met his nasty end. He’s been responsible for the deaths of some very significant Christians. If I were telling this story to my nephew Jake he would call Herod a “baddy”. The thing is, as we saw yesterday, Herod is all about what people think of him, it seems to be a family trait. His father had killed John the Baptist for approval from Herodias’ daughter, he had also struck up a political alliance with Pilate following his meeting with Jesus, he mocked Jesus, giving him a robe and jeering at him before sending him back to Pilate. This Herod had himself killed James for approval from the Jews, there’s no doubt he would have done the same to Peter. So I think it’s safe to say that he is a selfish and ungodly person if ever there was one. His focus is all wrong.
Philippians chapter 2 says;
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Those words would have been difficult for Herod to swallow.
So he accepts the praise from the people of Tyre and Sidon and allows them to compare him to god. It’s so easy to accept flattery, humility is so hard to actually get right. If I’m honest it’s something I really struggle with. Perhaps that isn’t a surprise to lots of you. I love a bit of credit and praise, I thrive on it. I’m not quite in the same category as Herod but I’m nowhere near where I need to be – not even close.
Jesus is the standard, he is the benchmark for us. We can’t rely on comparisons with other people or other Christians in order to make ourselves feel better. We are nowhere near the standard and the sooner we realise that the sooner we’ll understand the true nature of humility. We need to recalibrate sometimes, recognising that we are nothing, in the grand scheme of things all of our “worth” has come from God. He thinks I’m worth everything and that should be enough for me, I don’t need everyone else’s respect or praise. Perhaps that doesn’t really relate to everyone reading this but it hits me pretty hard, we need to be Christ centred and humble before God.
When Peter, in the passage we read a few days ago, says that he is ‘just a man’ to Cornelius, God honours him. There are so many examples throughout the bible of humility being honoured by God. Perhaps that’s something for us to focus on.
King of endless worth no one could express
How much you deserve though I’m weak and poor
All I have is yours, every single breath (When the Music Fades, Matt Redman)