Others again said – “He is Elijah,” and others – “He is a prophet, like one of the great prophets.”
Elijah is expected every year
not like any ancient prophet
whose name hasn’t faded yet
leaving space at the table
makes us familiar if not present
yes this one we know
since we know Elijah stories
it is easy for us to know all stories
as Elijah’s genre stories
in our reality wrestling
and meaning quest continuance
wisdom’s breadth is narrowed
I’ll bet my Elijah interpretation
against your John speculation
any day of the week
The blogosphere of Herod’s time was as busy as the current one. Herod’s responses seem to not be one of a policy-maker but a reactor to the latest news.
You can almost hear echoes of Herod’s Press Secretary daily giving a different explanation of the wonder-working outside of Herod’s purview or control. “Jesus is John revived from death” (again, an intimation of death without detail). “Jesus is Elijah returned as dramatically as he left” (2 Kings 2:11). “Jesus is another of another prophetic school” (how many ancient prophets come to mind and how many of them are women?
None of this prophet talk is sitting well with Herod and those privileged to be in his entourage, part of his posse. Prophets and heads-of-state are in conflict about the future. Prophets see the constraints on abundance resulting from the use of resources to protect the powerful and are advocates for a better tomorrow for everyone disadvantaged by today’s systems. Those in charge of others find themselves constantly using more of tomorrow’s resources to prop up their current standard of living. There is no oil/water interface here, but a stark difference in orientation.
With all this speculation we can sense Herod becoming edgier and edgier. Dissonance is being built up. John is meddling in state politics when he proclaimed against Herod’s intermarriage that consolidated his meager dynasty. Colonialism in any age brings out the necessities required to stay in power. Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear can anticipate Jesus’s arrest and death. Mark doesn’t have to say any more at this point, nor does Jesus.