Religion as Entertainment

October 3rd, 2008 • Category: Gospel of Luke
by Tyler Connoley

Today’s Scripture: Luke 23:6-12 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Tyler Connoley):

The final trial Jesus had to endure on this terrible night was an audience with King Herod. We’re told that Herod wanted to see Jesus for one particular reason: he hoped Jesus would perform some miracle for him.

In the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, Herod is portrayed as also being fascinated with John the Baptist (even though John publicly condemned him for marrying his sister-in-law). Also, despite his interest in John, we’re told that Herod had him beheaded on a whim, because of a request made by his stepdaughter.

It seems that Herod was not someone who cared much about God or what the prophets of God had to say. All he was really interested in was entertaining himself, and he found religious people entertaining. For him, John the Baptist was a sparring partner, and Jesus was a magician.

In our society, today, there are many Herods. These are people who love to debate religion, or argue about the Bible, but who don’t really care about God as much more than a diversion. It’s easy to get caught up in debates with such people, but the debates usually lead nowhere. They’re simply “stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law” that “are unprofitable and worthless” (Titus 3:9).

Few of us have found ourselves facing eminent death, as Jesus did on this night, but all of us will face death sooner or later. We all have limited time, just as Jesus did. With that reality in mind, do we really want to spend our precious breath being entertainment for Herod and his court? On his last night, Jesus chose not to engage in religious debates for entertainment’s sake. Instead, we’re told, he remained silent.

Thought for the day: Next time you’re tempted to waste time on frivolous controversies, ask yourself if you would want to spend your last day in this conversation — for all you know, this might be your last day.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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