Thanks to everyone who played a part in enabling me to take this break! I am humbled and blessed to be part of the team leading this church, Christ’s church!
My Sabbatical: Family / Rest / Travel / Connection with old friends / Listening to God. Laban has been doing a great job connecting Mark’s telling of the Good New about Christ to the Hebrew Scriptures. God’s Word tells us about Him and about us! Study Scripture for understanding…
John The Baptist: Jesus’ Redneck Cousin. John was the greatest of all humans according to Jesus of Nazareth. John’s role was foretold in Scripture (Isaiah 40:3) John played an amazing, one of a kind role in HIStory…but so can you!
If we are willing to face our natural tendency to be corrupt and evil (SIN) and fully submit to God’s plan, even when it confuses us and costs us things, we can fulfill our God given role in the story HE is telling…
Our Text this Week: Jesus is only briefly mentioned…But you and I are…
Last Week: Jesus is rejected in His hometown AGAIN!… His family the 1st time, now everyone…
And He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. ~ Mark 6:5-6 (ESV)
Then Jesus sends out the 12!
Now we get this story that Jesus is not really involved in…
Mark 6:14-29 (NLT)
14 Herod Antipas, the king, soon heard about Jesus, because everyone was talking about Him. Some were saying, “This must be John the Baptist raised from the dead. That is why He can do such miracles.” 15 Others said, “He’s the prophet Elijah.” Still others said, “He’s a prophet like the other great prophets of the past.” 16 When Herod heard about Jesus, he said, “John, the man I beheaded, has come back from the dead.”
- Spiritual state of the nation of Israel is al an all time low
- Illegitimate priesthood, Illegitimate king / kings
- So little Idea about God he thinks ridiculous things
17 For Herod had sent soldiers to arrest and imprison John as a favor to Herodias. She had been his brother Philip’s wife, but Herod had married her. 18 John had been telling Herod, “It is against God’s law for you to marry your brother’s wife.” 19 So Herodias bore a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But without Herod’s approval she was powerless, 20 for Herod respected John; and knowing that he was a good and holy man, he protected him. Herod was greatly disturbed whenever he talked with John, but even so, he liked to listen to him.
- Herodias was said to be exceptionally beautiful…and entitled
- Herodias was a social climber, Antipas had a better kingdom than Phillip
- Herod Antipas found a way to make his wife happy (kinda) and not kill John
- While John was imprisoned he asked Jesus if He was the Messiah
21 Herodias’ chance finally came on Herod’s birthday. He gave a party for his high government officials, army officers, and the leading citizens of Galilee. 22 Then his daughter, also named Herodias, came in and performed a dance that greatly pleased Herod and his guests. “Ask me for anything you like,” the king said to the girl, “and I will give it to you.” 23 He even vowed, “I will give you whatever you ask, up to half my kingdom!”
- Herod Antipas is trying to impress
- Herodias the daughter, was originally named Salome
- She was not Herod Antipas’ daughter, she was Phillip’s daughter he adopted
24 She went out and asked her mother, “What should I ask for?” Her mother told her, “Ask for the head of John the Baptist!” 25 So the girl hurried back to the king and told him, “I want the head of John the Baptist, right now, on a tray!”
- Her loyalty was to her Mother…blind loyalty
- Herodias (Mother) was a opportunist!
- Both women were incited to evil because they gave it place (corrupt lives)
- The daughter, having been raised in the corruption was fine asking for murder
26 Then the king deeply regretted what he had said; but because of the vows he had made in front of his guests, he couldn’t refuse her. 27 So he immediately sent an executioner to the prison to cut off John’s head and bring it to him. The soldier beheaded John in the prison, 28 brought his head on a tray, and gave it to the girl, who took it to her mother. 29 When John’s disciples heard what had happened, they came to get his body and buried it in a tomb.
- He is regretful…but it is more important to save face in front of his guests
- Herod was more fearful of man than he was of God
- He was so desensitized to evil, he kills someone on a bet…
In 39 AD Herod Antipas was betrayed by his brother in law / nephew, Herod Agrippa, to the Roman Emperor Caligula, which resulted in Antipas & Herodias being exiled to Gaul (Southern France).
Don’t be surprised when corrupt leadership is manipulated by satanic influences to enact evil that was not necessarily intended.
John The Baptist is an example for all who follow Christ. We can imitate his speaking out against corrupt leadership, his courage and trust in God.
God’s sovereign design for events is not in any way effected by demonic interference. John had completed his mission in life and death. He decreased that Christ would increase (John 3:30)
If you live trying to please other people you will not be able to focus on pleasing God. If you focus on pleasing God (like JTB), you will not please most people.
Do YOU believe that by giving evil a place in any part of your life you then open yourself up to be manipulated by it?
Do YOU believe Jesus’ followers should speak up against corrupt leadership and then trust God for what happens?
Do YOU believe Christ has given each member of His body a mission for this life?
Where are you with discovering and enacting that mission?
As we continue to read the Gospel of Mark, see yourself in the characters…
And be honest about who you can be and what you are capable of (we all are)
And see Jesus for who He is: God among US!
Ask Him to give you total submission to His will
Then you can say: ‘The Lord gives and takes away…blessed be the Name of the Lord’!