Today we have a kind of insipid diminution of language. Instead of being ecstatic about something, we are “super happy “. Instead of being in despair, we are “super “depressed”. It gets super frustrating to listen to lazy language but it is what it is.
In Greek getting something to intensify is the use of a prefix – hyper. Hyper is over the top. It is above and beyond. It is super intense. Combine that prefix with the word phainos meaning to shine and you have a super word that means an over the top need to shine above everyone and everything. We moan about lack of self esteem and it is super frustrating because most problems in life come because of folks needing to shine out above and beyond. It is the kind if mindset that believes people might actually be interested in watching you wiggle your rear end on Facebook.
Herod’s behavior in Acts 12 is self-serving behavior and shows his deep flaw, the propensity to think of himself as God and not a man. When the crowds give voice to this (v. 22), Herod does not stop them and dies miserably. Herod’s pride is the opposite of the behavior exhibited by Peter in 10:26 and Barnabas and Paul in 14:14-18.
So hyper showoffs get a simple word- arrogant. While we apart from God, strut ourselves around and try to shine, Jesus empties himself and takes in the form of a servant and dies for us on a cross. In love he allows us to see him shining forth in mercy so we can shine like stars forever.