Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Note to the Lord:Light in Dark Places

Matthew 14
1At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, 2and 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."

Lord Jesus--Even Herod the case-hardened political infighter was rattled by the witness of John and the words of this prophet. The first thing that he could think of was when he heard of You was that John had risen from the dead and was back being a pest. There could be only one reason for the power that was at work in Your ministry, John was back. Herod wanted to explain away the reality of the power that was at work in Your ministry in a way that he was the center of.

3Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, 4for John had been saying to him: "It is not lawful for you to have her." 5Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered him a prophet.

Lord Jesus--John the prophet could not be quiet in the face of power that was doing what was out of the plan of God. I am sure that John knew the risks when he spoke out. And yet he spoke more than once and with enough force to bring Herodias to the point of wanting him dead.

I can just imagine the conversations that must have burned up the palace hallways after one of John's visits. I am sure that there must have been broken dinnerware on the floor and angry words spoken. Herod must have heard his fill of John and this angry women who was now his roommate confidant and lover.I wonder if Herod ever had to duck to avoid the flying dinner plate. I hope so.

6On Herod's birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for them and pleased Herod so much 7that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist." 9The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10and had John beheaded in the prison. 11His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12John's disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.

Lord Jesus--John was killed for the telling the truth to someone who did not want to hear it. He was killed to appease an angry women by a man who had little internal sense of right and wrong. Herod knew political control but not internal personal control.

Ultimately Herod was left alone with his thoughts and his musings. I wonder if it was late at night in the palace that Herod thought of John and this last time he saw him, and then the reports of people being raised from the dead and demons running the other way...and your name Lord Jesus. Herod was left to his guilt.

Lord Jesus in this coming day, help me to shine like a candle. John knew about shining in the darkness that surrounded him. Give me that kind of courage when needed.

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