Imagine for a moment a people so afraid of their murderous, narcissistic ruler, that all his followers flatter him with praise to ensure that the people they represent in the government get what they need to sustain them. They shower him with acclaim at his speaking events that are one-part stump-speech and one-part rabble-rousing spectacle.
Though it may sound like a story ripped from the headlines of recent years, I assure you it is not. This is the story of the last speech and demise of Herod the Great, recorded in the book of Acts, by the Gospel-writer Luke. What became of this notorious tyrant is the topic of today’s conversation. As you are about to hear, this overlooked story has a lot to tell us about privilege, power, and how God gets to write the final chapter about all earthly rulers … not matter how great they are again.
You are not going to want to miss a minute of this conversation. among our group of Christian antiracism educators and friends in this episode we are calling “God don’t play.”
CORRECTION: In this episode, Eric mentions that Herod in this scripture passage is the Herod that tried to kill Jesus. While the Herod in this episode (Herod Agrippa I) is related to the former Herod (Herod the Great), they are not, in fact, the same person. They both were horrid Roman rulers, however. To read more about them, and four other people named “Herod” in scripture, follow this link: How many Herods are there in the Bible?
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front by Wendell Berry
Willie Jennings Commentary on Acts
Bible History.com – Josephus Account of Agrippa’s Death
ABC News: Researchers Diagnose Herod the Great
White Christian Nationalism, Liberation Theology, and Being Reformed – Juan Carmona