Tyranny of the Herods
James is the first of the Jesus’s apostles to be martyred. Put to death by King Herod. Peter was also arrested but was released from prison by an angel the night before his trial. Upon news of his escape, Herod searches for him, to no avail, and has the guards executed in his stead.
“…Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there.” v.19
While Herod is delivering a speech to his subjects, they start to praise him, saying “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.”
“Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.” v.23
Let’s Talk About It
Let’s Cancel the name Herod
This King Herod is grandson to the King Herod that killed the newborn babies after the announcement that the Christ would be born, and he is nephew to the Herod that beheaded John the Baptist.
One Spared, One Killed
We aren’t given a reason why James was not spared execution. Paul’s words in chapter 20 of Acts come to mind, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me…”v.24 Choosing to follow Christ may seem like a balancing act between expecting much and expecting nothing at all, if you are not in communion with the Holy Spirit. Paul was made sure of his task and received warning from the Spirit about what was to come, and He was at peace with it. Whatever God calls you to, He will bring you through – he will hold you, he will keep you, and you will be able to sincerely praise Him for the rich rewards in this life, and the one to come. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 2 Corinthians 4:17