Among the Rulers
Creator and King, I lift my eyes to You. I entrust all my life to You with confidence.
Read Mark 6:14-29
 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, whom I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!”  For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married.  For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”  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.  Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee.  When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.”  And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”  She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” “The head of John the Baptist,” she answered.  At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”  The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her.  So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison,  and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother.  On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow are John and Jesus’ influence felt?
The miraculous work of Jesus and the recent actions of his disciples have brought him to the attention of the powers that be (v 14), as people continue to struggle with his identity (14–16). The book of Mark starts with John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus (1:2). Now we see him at the mercy of the Machiavellian impulses of Herodias, Herod’s wife, who does not appreciate him denouncing her marriage, which is a violation of the Jewish Law (Leviticus 18:16; 20:21). John’s fearless voice has landed him in trouble because he has not limited his preaching of repentance to ordinary people – he calls out to those in power to do the same. Many of us live in comfortable circumstances, but we too face pressures to remain silent when we should speak out. John joins a long line of courageous, prophetic messengers who are persecuted for declaring the word of the Lord (Matthew 23:30–32; Acts 7:52), and the disciples will find that they too will be persecuted.
Trust God in a situation in your life where you need him to help you be more fearless as you stand up for the truth.
Lord, I choose to follow You even where it requires risk and I know that You will back me.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.