81 – Antipas Questions Jesus

When: 7:30 am, Friday, April 7, 30 AD
Where: Palace of Herod Antipas, Jerusalem, Judea


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It was now about 7 am and Pilate was being challenged by the religious leaders about his conclusion that Jesus was innocent of the charge of sedition. They were describing how Jesus was ‘stirring up’ the crowds when they mentioned that some of these events occurred in Galilee. Though Pilate had known Jesus to be a Galilean from his accent, clothes, ideas, and the political jealousy Jesus aroused in Jerusalem, he had not considered that Jesus might have caused trouble for Herod Antipas, the tetrarch.

Now it happened that Antipas was in Jerusalem for the Passover festival. Pilate and Antipas did not “get along” especially well. They were competitors for power. Here was an opportunity for Pilate to put Antipas “on the spot”, while appearing to be considerate.

Antipas was awakened when the messenger arrived at the Palace of Herod [model] informing him that Jesus was being delivered. Antipas was also briefed on the charges and informed that his opinion of Jesus would be of value. This was a nice gesture by Pilate. In the past Pilate had killed some of Antipas’ subjects who were worshiping at the temple. That had challenged the authority of Antipas. Now Pilate was acting appropriately by sending Jesus to him for an opinion.

Thus when Jesus was brought before Antipas, who came out of his palace to sit in the courtyard [model], Antipas was ready. He had long wanted to see this Jesus, of whom he had heard so much. Was this John the Baptizer returned from the grave? Jesus had never really irritated Antipas the way John had, so Antipas was a bit less antagonistic toward Jesus.

Yet Antipas had a well-deserved reputation for abusing anyone with less power than his own. Jesus was a toy to be played with. Herod had heard stories about Jesus, the miracle worker, and wanted proof, one way or another, of the power Jesus might possess, and whether or not he was John returned.

Antipas began cautiously. But when Jesus said nothing, and showed no evidence of power, Antipas became bolder, and more sadistic. Yet finally Antipas sent Jesus back to Pilate at the Fortress of Antonia with his personal thanks. Antipas now knew that Jesus was NOT John returned and was no one to fear.

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