Yesterday, I heard a sermon about King Herod. The minister told how King Herod was braggadocios giving himself the title, “Herod the Great.” In the way that our culture would esteem a man, he was great. He built huge buildings. He made a name for himself. He was also jealous of anyone who stole attention away from him. He feared a baby who some called, “King of the Jews,” and had all the babies under the age of 2 killed to make sure no one could take his power.
The minister pointed out that when Jesus met King Herod, he ignored him. Jesus did not esteem him the way that others did. The minister went on to make another point about why Jesus did not respond to Herod, but I thought this story explains Jesus’ response:
Once, a long time ago, there was a wise teacher. People from far and near would seek his counsel and ask for his wisdom. He seldom turned any away.
One day an important man, a man used to command and obedience came to visit the teacher. “I have come today to ask you to teach me. Open my mind to enlightenment.” The tone of the important man’s voice was one used to getting his own way.
The teacher smiled and said that they should discuss the matter over a cup of tea. When the tea was served the master poured his visitor a cup. He poured and he poured and the tea rose to the rim and began to spill over the table and finally onto the robes of the wealthy man. Finally the visitor shouted, “Enough. You are spilling the tea all over. Can’t you see the cup is full?”
The teacher stopped pouring and smiled at his guest. “You are like this tea-cup, so full that nothing more can be added. Come back to me when the cup is empty.”
Jesus knew that King Herod was too full to add anything more.
Come with an empty cup, my friends.