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Study to Grow



By Doug Bell


Matthew 14:1-12

1¶At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the news about Jesus,

2 and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”

3¶For when Herod had John arrested, he bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip.

4 For John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.”

5 Although Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded John as a prophet.

6¶But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod,

7 so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked.

8 Having been prompted by her mother, she *said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”

9 Although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests.

10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison.

11 And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.

12 His disciples came and took away the body and buried it; and they went and reported to Jesus.



*****

Here is a picture of what being a faithful witness for Christ may cost you. John the Baptist was the antecedent, the forerunner, the preparer for the Messiah. Once Jesus came upon the scene, John could have faded into the background and been content that he had served his purpose. But, he knew God wasn’t done with him yet.



It seems at first we read in verse 5 that, “Although Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded the John as a prophet”.

.

But after a time, it seems Herod enjoyed John’s conversations. We read that the king kept coming to John;

Mark 6:20 “for Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed; but he used to enjoy listening to him”.

But, because John was a ‘righteous and holy man,’ at every opportunity he kept reminding the king that he was living in Adultery and needed to repent of his sin, and look to God for salvation. So on the night of Herod’s birthday, his step-daughter dances in such a way that “pleased him,” he vowed to give whatever she ask of him, up to half his kingdom. She went to her mother and inquired from her what she should ask. Her mother said, ‘the head of John the Baptist!’ When told, we read that Herod,

9 “Although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests”.

As Christians we should understand that the World is NOT our friend. When push comes to shove the Christian will Always loose out. NOTE: “... because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests...” They may tolerate us (not so much anymore), but they will choose their sinful actions EVERY TIME! Herod gave in and murdered John because of his ‘Pride!’ Because of his Oaths and his dinner guests who had heard this, he had the prophet killed. What is a life worth to the average Unbeliever, not much if we look at how many approve of Abortion today. But, we must NOT be swayed by what ‘May’ happen. Please Father help us be like Jesus;

1 Peter 2:

21 “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,

22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH;

23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously”.

May Our Heavenly Father, by the power of His Holy Spirit, enable us to live our lives consistently in a ‘holy and righteous’ way, Faithfully persevering to the end! Amen!




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