Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen.
Jesus’ deeds and words were so amazing to his contemporaries that a rumor somehow got started that he was John the Baptist, back from the dead. Herod Antipas, John’s murderer, got wind of the rumor and rather than dismissing it as an old wives’ tale, appears to have been spooked by it sufficiently to want to see Jesus for himself and make sure he hadn’t accidentally gotten himself in dutch with superhuman forces. He eventually got his wish, as Luke 23:6-12 relates. And Herod, like any bully relieved of fear, celebrated his discovery that Jesus was neither John Redivivus nor a magician of any evident power by treating the odd Galilean preacher to a good beating and sending him back to Pilate in a silly costume. Herod did not see God. He saw a poor guy. St. Vincent de Paul looked at the poor and saw the humiliated Christ.