Saturday 5 March 2022

Matthew 14:1-12

1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, 2 and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.” 3 Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet. 6 On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.

The tragic end of John the Baptist unfolds in these verses. We see here how Herod feared people, however John feared God.  Herod’s foolish pride and vanity force him into a ridiculous trap that causes him distress. John is an example of incredible integrity. By speaking truth, John demonstrates boldness and commitment to God, providing an amazing example to us.

I think about my commitment and boldness in sharing the Gospel and where can speak truth and love in peoples’ lives. I can echo Jesus, John the Baptist and other Christian who are driven in their love of Jesus: William Wilberforce who campaigned against the slave trade, Martin Luther who nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg church, William Tyndale who illegally translated the Bible into English, or even Eric Liddell who put God first, no matter what.

Knowing who to place your trust in, as John did in God, is of vital importance. Trusting God’s plan, and not human plans, leads us to a ‘good’ life. We see how Herod rewards up to half his kingdom to a foolish dance, but Jesus rewards an entire kingdom to those who call upon his name!

Lord, we thank you that you are mightier and wiser than anyone in this world. We acknowledge your plan for us. Even though times of trouble and turmoil will enter our lives; you promise to be faithful and good. Help us to hold onto your truths, to seek you, and to fear you Lord. In your precious name, Jesus.

Written by Sven Bessesen

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