Spiritual Growth and Christian Living Resources

Creed: Jesus Turns Enemies, Pilate & Herod, Into Friends

  • Eva Marie Everson Contributing Writer & Author
  • Published Sep 09, 2005
Creed: Jesus Turns Enemies, Pilate & Herod, Into Friends

Editor's Note: "Creed" is an ongoing article series that discusses the core beliefs of Christianity as expressed in the Apostle's and Nicene creeds. Links to other installments are listed at the end of this article.

His name was Steve. He was cute in a “hippie” sort of way. Long, dirty-blond hair, blue eyes, sharp features. Quick to laugh, easy to talk to. Girls went crazy over him.


For some reason he was crazy about me. I wasn’t overly interested at first, but within a few days—with a series of phone calls and a floral delivery—I succumbed to his insistence that I go out with him.


We dated for a while. Not a long time. Just a few weeks or so, but we talked every day on the phone and I always managed to swing by his work on my way home from mine, if only to say hello and have a Coke. Somewhere along the way he told me I’d made an enemy.


“I have?” I couldn’t imagine who would not like me!


“My old girlfriend. Ann. She’s upset because we’re dating,” he told me.


I rolled my eyes. That was just plain silly, I thought. But, within a week or so I learned the truth about the situation. She wasn’t his old girlfriend. She was his current fiancée. I broke up with Steve and went on my merry way.


One afternoon as I was driving home from work, I became aware of a car following mine. A quick glance in the rear view mirror revealed two young women, both with a look of determination. I didn’t like what I saw, so I sped up.


They did the same.


When I slid into my parking space at the apartment complex I called home, I scooted out of my car as quickly as possible. “Hey!” one of the girls called out to me. “You! You were with my man this afternoon and I’m here to beat you up!”


I whirled around. One thing I knew for sure, I’d not been with anyone’s man that afternoon. I’d been at work all day. “Who me?” I asked, keeping my distance. (My mama didn’t raise no fool!) “And just who was that?”


“Steve,” she hollered back.


“Steve? I haven’t seen Steve for weeks.” I squinted. “Are you Ann?”


“You know who I am,” she said.


I shook my head and laughed a bit. “Uh…no. Not really. But I can tell you, I was at work all day.” I took a step or two toward the car and watched her visibly relax. We continued to talk, with me finally saying to her, “Look, I don’t want a man who will be engaged to one girl while dating another. If he was dating me while he was engaged to you, what makes you think he’s not now dating someone else? The man knows nothing about loyalty and I’ve got better things to do with my life than deal with an unfaithful man.”


That day, Ann and I became friends. And poor unsuspecting Steve became our common “enemy.”


Rivals No More


Want to know how to make a friend out of an enemy? Have a common rival.


In the days of Jesus, Pilate and Herod (which means “son of a hero”) were enemies. But, not for long. In one early morning meeting, Jesus made them “friends.”


As we established in the last installment of Creed, Pilate was the Roman governor over Judea. Herod Antipas was the Tetrarch of Galilee. He was not the same Herod who attempted to eliminate Jesus shortly after his birth. That Herod was “Herod the Great,” who had been appointed by Julius Caesar and who was a particularly cruel and somewhat insane individual. When he died in 4 BC, he left behind four sons (having murdered the others):


1.      Herod Philip (son of Mariamne, daughter of Simon, the High Priest)

2.      Herod Philip (son of Cleopatra of Jerusalem)

3.      Herod Archelaus (son of Malthase)

4.      Herod Antipas (son of Malthase)


Herod Philip (Son of Cleopatra of Jerusalem)


Herod Philip, son of Cleopatra of Jerusalem was the first Jewish tetrarch to put his “mug” on a coin. His kingdom was small and he was content to rule over it. He is mentioned ever so briefly in the Bible: (Luke 3:1)


In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis…


Herod Philip (Son of Mariamne)


Herod Philip, son of Mariamne, was a private citizen, excluded from all share of his father’s inheritance, though his story is very important to the understanding of Jesus’ relationship to the “Herods” of His day. Herod Philip was married to a woman named Herodias. Their daughter was Salome, who became the wife of Herod Philip, son of Cleopatra, and who danced for the head of John the Baptist.


Herod Archelaus (elder son of Malthase)


Herod Archelaus was the elder son by Malthase, who was a Samaritan woman. His father appointed him “king,” but Rome made him “ruler” over Judaea, Samaria, and Idumea. Archelaus was a very cruel man, much like his father, and treated his subjects brutally.


In Matthew 2:22, we read of this Herod:


But when [Joseph] heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod [the Great], he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.”


In 6 AD, the Jews and Samaritans (who were natural enemies), actually banded together and appealed to Rome that Archelaus be removed from power.


He was banished in 6 AD.


Herod Antipas (younger son of Malthase)


Now we have the Herod to whom Jesus was sent by Pilate.


Herod Antipas was the younger son of Herod the Great andMalthase. Though he first married the daughter of the King of Arabia Petraea, he later visited his brother Herod Philip, became involved with his sister-in-law Herodias, and took her back to Galilee to be his wife.


John the Baptist literally lost his head over the incestuous relationship.


But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother's wife, and all the other evil things he had done, Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison. (Luke 3:19, 20)


Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, for John had been saying to him: "It is not lawful for you to have her." Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered him a prophet.

On Herod's birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for them and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist." The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted and had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. John's disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.(Matthew 14: 3-12)

Next Installment of Creed: Herod Antipas, Meet Jesus

Award-winning national speaker Eva Marie Everson is a recent graduate of Andersonville Theological Seminary. Her work includes the just released Sex, Lies, and the Media (Cook) and The Potluck Club (Baker/Revell) She can be contacted for comments or for speaking engagement bookings at www.evamarieeverson.com.

Most recent articles in this series:
Creed: From the Religious Hypocrites to Pilate's Court
Creed: Why Jesus Suffered

Creed: The Gospel in a Nutshell
Creed: Why Jesus Came
Creed: The Son & the Father are One