Luke 23: 7-11
7When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. 8When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. 9He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 11Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate.
It appears as though Herod, having heard of Jesus’ signs and wondrous healings, was happy to see Jesus for his entertainment value. David Copperfield attracts huge crowds and advertising dollars to his events because people love to see his illusions and love trying to figure out the mystery of what they are seeing. Herod must have thought, “Great, now I get to see this magician work his magic right here in my quarters!” It doesn’t appear as though Herod was looking for the Kingdom of God. He didn’t seem interested in the life to come. He was interested in being entertained.
I worry that we American Christians spend too much time, money, and energy on entertainment. I dare say the average American Christian spends double the time watching television (or the computer screen) than is spent in worship each week. It concerns me that the practices of being entertained teach us to be passive observers with high expectations of what others will do to excite us, when what Jesus wants for us is to be active participants in the story of his salvation for us and for the world we live in. Though Jesus is fun and loving and exciting and joyful and astounding and amazing, he is also demanding. He requires us to walk with him, communicate with him, wrestle with him, sacrifice for him, serve him, and follow him. In such an active role we find eternal life, a quality of life greater than any other we will know.
It seems to me Herod expected Jesus to put on a show, and when he didn’t, he joined Pilate and the others in mocking Jesus as worthless. May God save us from the desire to be entertained and give us hearts full of desire to actively worship and serve him as Lord daily.