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2016.Feb.
08 Mon
 
The Death of John the Baptist
[ Matthew 14:1 - 14:12 ]
 
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 him a prophet.
6. On Herod's birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for them 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.
 

Reflection
John and Jesus (14:1–5)
As news spreads about Jesus and the sings and wonders that accompany His ministry, people are amazed and also somewhat confused. Who is this man, and how does He teach with such authority and act with such power? When Herod hears reports about Jesus, he becomes paranoid that this man might be John the Baptist come back from the dead. John, however, made it absolutely clear that he was not the Messiah and considered himself unworthy to even carry Jesus sandals. He understood his role in the kingdom, and he understood who Jesus really was. Today, there are countless theories and opinions about the true identity of Jesus Christ, but do not be misled. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and there is none like Him.

John Executed (14:6–12)
Matthew tells us of John the Baptists execution at the hands of the cowardly Herod. It is a cruel and disturbing incident that is difficult to digest. John is beheaded for doing what is right in Gods eyes and speaking against Herods immorality. He is used as a pawn in a game of manipulation, and his death is treated as entertainment. Surely, the last in the line of Old Testament prophets deserved a better fate than this! Consider, however, the suffering of Jesus Christ. He was perfect and blameless, yet He died a humiliating, violent death. Such injustice would be cause for despair if that were the end of the story—but it isnt. We are promised that glory awaits those who are persecuted for the kingdom.

Application
- Consider carefully what you believe of Jesus Christ. Do you live your life in accordance with these beliefs?

- This earth will soon pass away. How are you living in these last days? Are you hoarding things you cannot keep, or do you live with an eternal vision for things that are greater?

A Letter to
God
Father, may You be my vision, my highest hope, my deepest love. Whatever comes my way, may I live all my days for Your glory. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear, and equip me to fight the good fight of faith until the very end. In Jesus name. Amen.
 
 
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