Luke's contrast of Herod and Jesus is striking. Herod is all in a fuss. He rejoices at seeing Jesus (yesterday's passage), questions him at length (today's passage), and tomorrow will join his troops in mocking him,
Jesus will speak not a word. He knows that, whatever happens, he is going to die. And, especially because of his prayer in Gethsemane, he trusts "Abba" and is able to look death in the eye without blinking.
The "passing-over" of early immigrants across the ocean to the "great unknown" (the United States) can perhaps be an image of death. The voyage was long and difficult, and they didn't know if they would be allowed into this country when they arrived. Many were alone, could bring next to nothing with them, knew no one at their destination, and couldn't speak English.
Imagine what it would have been like if when they landed, there was someone who knew them - someone who could get them quickly through all the immigration procedures, help them find a job, a place to live ...
Jesus faced the terror of death, but knew that he would be in the hands of "Abba" on the other side. It made all the difference.
Jesus says to us, "When you die, look for me on the other side."
Now that's someone you want to get to know very well.
- Little Black Book, Diocese of Saginaw