Daily Devotion for November 4, 2010
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
"For Each New Morning"For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
I thank thee.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Psalm 122:1-2, 6-7 (King James Version)
Our feet have been standing Within your gates, O Jerusalem!
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls, Prosperity within your palaces.”
Pharisees, Sadducess, and Herodians, Oh My — The Herodians
Again He entered the Synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. And they watched Him, to see whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come here."
And He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent.
And He looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out, and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against Him, how to destroy Him.
Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed; also from Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from about Tyre and Sidon a great multitude, hearing all that He did, came to Him.
Notes on the Scripture
Today's reading occurs very early in Christ's life, before he flees across the Sea of Galilee to begin his teaching on the eastern shore. Yesterday's reading, from Mark 12, occurred much later. In both cases, the Pharisees are joined by a much less well-known group called the "Heriodians" in plotting how to get rid of him.
Unlike the Pharisees and Sadducees, the Herodians were not really a religious movement; they were primarily a political party. To rule a colony, the Romans would naturally have a Roman governor, who would have Roman legions at his disposal and wielded the ultimate power in the colony. They generally, however, retained a legitimate king of the colony's tribe (called "client kings"); often, they would simply kill off kings until one was chosen who was compliant. In other cases, they would have made an ally of the king of one of the local tribes during the war of conquest. They would name him the king of the colony. The Herod dynasty ruled not only Roman Judea but large surrounding territories. Herod the Great, for example, ruled Judea, Gallilee and Samaria.
Thus the Herodians were simply supporters of the Herods. They were the political opportunists of the day; in modern times, they would be called "collaboraters" with an enemy occupation. They were certainly friendly with the Sadducees, who held great power in Jerusalem, the Roman capital of Judea; however, they would have adopted many of the customs of Rome's advanced civilization. They, like their Roman masters, cared much less about religious observance than the suppression of civil unrest or political rebellion.
This emphasizes a thread that runs throughout Christ's story. He lived in a land with a great deal of religious tolerance. His new teachings, however, were a threat to the power base of the established political/religious powers. So they attempted constantly to attack him on two fronts: First, because he appeared to violate the tenets of the more popular Jewish sects of the day, they tried to depict him as a heretic and a sinner. Secondly, in order to suppress him with physical force, they attempted to depict him as a political threat. The Herodians counted on the support of the Pharisees and Sadducees to stay in Rome's favor; it was, after all, the local ruler's job to keep a colony in line. And so the Herodians plotted against Jesus.
They never succeeded in getting Rome to suppress him; Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, found Christ innocent of any political rebellion and washed his hands of the matter. They were successful enough, however, to keep Pilate from intervening in Christ's favor.