MEDITATION ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: The Acts In The House Of Herod I
DUCCIO di Buoninsegna
Christ Before King Herod (scene 14)
Meditation Of The Acts In The House Of Herod
Herod, when he saw Jesus, rejoiced much, for he was desirous a long time to see him, because he had heard many things of him, and he hope to see some sign done by him: And he examined him with many questions: but he answered nothing unto him.
Consider first, that this Herod never came unto Christ, never heard his words, nor never saw his miracles; but yet he knew many things of him by the report of others. Wherefore he was glad, that he had occasion to see and behold him; but he was not moved with hope or desire of salvation, but with a desire to see some sign. Thou mayest learn first, what this King thought our Lord to be; an Inchantera Juggler, a Fool. Secondly, that the custom of worldly men, is, more willingly to hear new things, which may delight, then good things, which may profit.
Consider 2. That Christ admireth not the outward pomp and royal dignity, but beholdeth the beauty & foulness of the heart; neither would he vouchsafe to speak unto him, seeing he expected no profit thereby. Learn thou 1. Not to esteem too much these outward shows: for in the future examination of the Judge the humble poor man shall be better esteemed, then the proud rich man. 2. No to utter thy words in vain, but to direct thy speaches always to some good purpose, remembering, that in the day of judgment thou shalt render an account of every idle word. 3. To flatter none, to avoid ostentation, not to expose Religious and Holy things to be laughed at, not to abuse the Scriptures or divine ceremonies to jests and profane matters.
Consider 3. What questions were propounded to Christ by Herod, to wit, unprofitable & curious: Perhaps, whether he were John Baptist; whether he could destroy & restore the Temple; & whether his Father in times past killed the Infants for his cause. Do thou ask profitable things of our Lord, & pray him to answer to thy questions for thy profit & salvation of thy soul.