In my last post, I talked about how Jesus sent His disciples to prepare the towns ahead of Him for His arrival. As they went, they begin doing the same miracles as Jesus. Word starts to circulate about the power of Christ and His team.
Finally, word reaches Herod, the ruler of the region. Mark now begins to explain the relationship between Herod and John the Baptist. You may want to read Mark 6:12-29 before you continue.
King Herod is an interesting person in Scripture. He was actually only Jewish by religion, not birth. He used this religious affiliation as a means to wealth, and political power.
When he heard about the ministry of John the Baptist, he was attracted to the message. But like so many people, he only wanted to hear God’s Word until it meant that he needed to change.
At one point, Herod took his brother’s wife, Herodias, as his own. She also happened to be his niece. As a preacher of righteousness, John the Baptist had something to say about that.
For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Herod found himself in a tight position. He felt the conviction and power of John’s words. On the other hand, he didn’t want to stop what he was doing. Not knowing what to do, he had John arrested and put into prison.
But there’s more to the story…
So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him.
There was a conflict raging on the inside of him. It was the tension between the knowledge of truth and a refusal to walk in repentance.
It’s sad to say, but many believers find themselves in this position. They hear a message about God’s call to a holy life, but they want to hold on to their present lifestyle. They try to quiet the inner voice of the Spirit by convincing themselves that they don’t have to accept the “message of condemnation.”
Please understand; a call to repentance is NOT condemnation. Being condemned means that you’re given no chance to repent.
Eventually, through trickery and deceit, Herodias’ grudge turned into full-blown murder. She had John the Baptist beheaded. You may think that this was the end of it. It wasn’t because guilt seems to have a life of its own.
It continued to eat away at Herod’s thoughts. That’s why, when he heard about the works of Jesus and the disciples, all he could think about was John.
King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.” Others said, “He is Elijah.” And still others claimed, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.”
But when Herod heard this, he said, “John, the man I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!”
So strong was the guilt he felt, that he actually believed that John had been raised from the dead. It was consuming him.
Don’t allow guilt to work death in your life. If repentance is needed, then handle it quickly. Allow the life of Christ to bring renewal and restoration.
Question: What are some positive results of repentance that you’ve experienced?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi