Remember that guy named John? The one who was preaching and baptizing in the wilderness and then quickly arrested after baptizing Jesus? We have not heard anything else about him since we began this journey in Mark except for a brief mention of his disciples fasting (2:18). So what happened to him? Take a moment to read todays passage.
After Jesus sends the disciples out in twos and they begin preaching repentance, driving out demons and anointing the sick with olive oil and healing them (6:12-13), King Herod hears about it.
Let’s consider these questions and the answers scripture gives to us.
What had King Herod heard?
- All that Jesus was teaching and doing (6:6b)
- That Jesus’ disciples were also preaching repentance, driving out demons, anointing the sick with olive oil and healing them. (6:12-14)
Who is this Jesus?
- Some said this Man was able to do what He was doing because John the Baptist was raised from the dead and now there was supernatural powers in Jesus (6:14)
- Some said He was Elijah (6:15)
- Some said a prophet like one of the past prophets (6:15)
What did Herod believe?
- John the Baptist had been raised (6:16) [The reason for John’s beheading is given in great detail in verses 17-28.]
- He believed John was righteous and holy (6:20)
How did what Herod believe affect his life?
- When Herod listened to John, he would be very disturbed yet he listened gladly (6:20)
If we only just read God’s Word and walk away with some good knowledge, we will deceive ourselves just like the Scribes and Pharisees. A good rule of thumb when studying God’s Word is to ask the question, How does this apply to my life today? If we can’t take what God has opened our eyes to and press it into our lives, then we will be like a tree without fruit. So…
How does this apply to our lives today?
The fact that Herod appeared to have a desire to hear what John was teaching him even though it disturbed him amazes me. Listening to John would make him glad and yet Herod still did not surrender his life to Christ. Often times when we share the truth with non-believers we are met with the same response. We find our friends, neighbors and loved ones are willing to listen to us and be glad, but not willing to surrender completely to the Lord.
Part of our preparing the way for those around us is to not only sharing the truth they are walking in sin and offering them Christ’s forgiveness, but to also pray the Lord would open their hearts to what we are speaking. I was reminded of this yesterday morning when our daughter shared the following verse with our family,
“A woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth form the city of Thyratira, who worshiped God, was listening. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was spoken by Paul” (Acts 16:14).
At first glance, John’s life seems to have ended in a tragic death. Yet, John fulfilled exactly what he was born to do…prepare the way for the Lord. Are we not also called to prepare the way for those around us?
Lord, help us to be as bold to confront sin and share Christ with others, as John was to confront a King. Help us to lovingly share Your love for unbelievers in a way that would cause them to be disturbed and yet know there is something different in what we are saying. Move them from just being glad about Your sacrifice for them, to a full surrender of their life to You.