In today’s very brief gospel lesson, we get a glimpse into the heart of Herod Antipas, the Roman Jew who was the ruler of Galilee and Perea during Jesus’ lifetime. This short text from Luke’s gospel reveals that he is both frightened of Jesus and fascinated by him. It calls to mind Herod’s relationship to Jesus’ forerunner, John the Baptist. We read in Mark 6:20 that Herod “feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him.” We know the rest of the story, don’t we… John’s popularity posed a threat to Herod and he had John arrested and imprisoned. Not long afterwards, in a state of drunkenness at a party he was hosting, Herod made an extravagant promise to his daughter, which led to John’s beheading. It was a promise he deeply regretted. It is clear that he was both fascinated by John and fearful of John’s influence.