Saturday, 29 October 2011

Mark 6:14-29 - Herod's guilt

Jesus' disciples' mission causes quite a stir and news reaches Herod - a man still affected by a guilty memory.

Mark 6:14-29

We're introduced to the menacing Roman leader, Herod and he, like many others has heard about Jesus and has also heard the various conclusions people have come to about who he is and how it is that he has such power to do miracles.  He has his own conclusion too, but it's not right (v16).  All of the conclusions ("He's Elijah", "He's like an old prophet", "He's John the baptist raised to life") are pretty thin and stretchy (they really are clutching at straws) but none of them come close to the even more startling truth - God has turned up as a man!

Herod's conclusion was based on a guilty conscience he had because John the baptist had challenged him about the immorality of having his brother's wife, Herodias (v17-18).  Herod also had an interest in John's message though and we're told that 'he liked to listen to him' (v20).  There was something about JB that Herod liked but obviously not enough for him to really listen enough to act on what he said.  Herod hid JB away in prison instead and eventually against his better wishes JB was killed (v21-29).  And now, even though Herod had an interest in the truth because of Jesus, he again hasn't got the courage to pursue it enough to reach the right conclusion.

How determined are you in your pursuit of the truth about Jesus, life and everything, when what you discover might mean changes in your own life?

John spoke out against immorality where he saw it and it eventually led to his death.  How much do you speak out against injustice and wrong actions and what's the best approach?

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