There are many people in the world who have a person they focus on. That person could be an individual they look up to. That person could also be a person who was the source of a lot of pain or conflict. When there is such a person in our lives, we will often not see others as important as that person, even when that person is more significant to others.
There was very little to commend Herod. He wasn’t known as the best ruler. He definitely had some difficulties seeing the next step. Herodias probably wasn’t the only one who had Herod wrapped around her finger.
Herod’s response to Jesus was to claim that John the Baptist was raised from the dead. That’s more than a little weird unless John the Baptist was that singular person for Herod.
It makes sense. John the Baptist apparently spoke to Herod quite a bit. Herod liked listening to him, but couldn’t understand him. Knowing the language that John used (“you brood of vipers” comes to mind), either Herod was clueless or John spoke to him differently, which seems unlikely.
Herod also didn’t seem to understand what was going on in his territory. John the Baptist? He knew John. Jesus? Nope. We know later Herod got a clue, but at this point, it was John over Jesus.
There are times where one person is “the” person. For a time and a place, they are the person to lead or to influence. Then their time is over. Generally, we assume that the next person will be younger, but not always.
Whose time and place will have the greatest impact upon us will usually not be figured out until the time has passed.
Often the person we think was the most influential is not the person we think it should be. For each of us, we often think it is Jesus. We have a hard time imagining John the Baptist outshining John the Baptist. Yet, for Herod—at that time—it was John the Baptist.
Who have been the influential people in your life? Were they the “important” people of the world? How did they influence you?