II. What’s up with all this kingdom stuff?
A. First of all Jesus has been teaching kingdom theology all through Luke.
1. Luke 17:20-21. “Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.””
2. Luke 12:30-31 “For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.”
3. Luke 11:2 “And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.”
B. Secondly, this is a story they’ve heard.
1. Under Roman authority, Israel like other places had subordinate kings, but Rome had to give them the right to rule.
2. The kings that ruled in Israel were neither Romans or Jews. They were Idumaeans and they were of a family called the Herods; the most notable and the first of them called Herod the Great, a name he gave himself.
3. It was 40 B.C., according to Josephus, that Herod the Great took his journey to Rome. He for himself the monarchy in Israel. He negotiated with Marc Antony to grant him the right to rule under Caesar in Israel. He ruled until he died in 4 B.C.
4. Upon his death in his will it was prescribed that the kingdom would be divided into three parts and given to his three sons.
5. Judea, which would include Jerusalem and Jericho, was given to Archelaus. (People present were very familiar with Archelaus because Archelaus had built a palace in Jericho.) Jesus now is on the road from Jericho up the seventeen miles to Jerusalem, just having come through Jericho, spending a couple of days there healing the two blind men and saving Zacchaeus. Archelaus only ruled ruled for 10 years.
6. On the first Passover after he had ascended to this throne, he slaughtered 3,000 Jews. He was not trying to endear himself. He was trying to terrify the people. The people hated him, despised him.
7. He had to go to Rome to receive the official imprimatur of Caesar on his right to rule.
8. When Archelaus went, the people detested him so greatly that they sent a delegation, “We do not want this man to reign over us."
9.Caesar made Archelaus Ethnarch. He was not allowed to take the title king until he earned it by the favor of the people.