Seek; don’t just see – Thursday, 25th week in ordinary time – Lk 9:7-9

In Luke 7:1-9:6 we saw how Jesus’ kingdom message is for men AND women and how it also shatters the boundaries of clean and unclean. The section opened with a the healing of the centurions slave and the raising of the widows son in Nain ( both were men) and ends with healing of a woman who had a bleeding and the raising of Jarius’ daughter ( both women)

We now enter a new section (9:7-50) which consists of the responses to Jesus as His Galilean ministry draws to an end. From 9: 51 Jesus will begin His journey to Jerusalem.  For now there is a sense a curiosity about Jesus from none other the Herod the tetrarch himself.

The passage just before this tells us that Jesus sent out the twelve to preach the kingdom of God giving them power and authority over demons, to cure diseases and to heal. We are told they went ‘everywhere’. In a flash, the ministry of Jesus has just exploded twelve times over, all throughout Galilee. They went out in Jesus’ name (not theirs) and became to the Galileans the equivalent of twelve ‘news channels’. The name of Jesus is now known with awe, wonder and respect, enough to get the rulers attention.

Herod Antipas was no friend of John the Baptist or Jesus in fact the Gospel of Luke presents him as being hostile to both. Herod was a self-serving egoistic man whose desire was no more than a titillation of the senses. On hearing of the works of Jesus, now made known even more thanks to the ministry of the twelve, he desires to “see” Jesus. Thrice, the Gospel of Luke will talk about Herod’s desire to “see” Jesus (Luke 23:8) but that is all Herod desired.

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