Mark chapter 6, verse 20 is a fascinating little verse. It says “for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.”
The Herodian dynasty was colonial rulers over Judea and Galilee under imperial Rome. One of the things colonial rulers aren’t supposed to do is unnecessarily offend the cultural moral sensibilities of the people they’re ruling. You don’t unnecessarily inflame things or trample on people’s moral sensibilities.
That’s exactly what Herod did, because when Herod Antipas married Herodias, who was actually his niece (therefore, it was an incestuous relationship according to the law of Moses), he outraged everybody. He inflamed things.
It was terrible governing. It was enormously self-indulgent. The only person who was willing to speak out publicly — to protest — about it was John the Baptist. As a result, Herodias had him thrown into prison, but she couldn’t kill him. Why not?
Herod was fascinated with John. Notice, after he is in prison, it says Herod heard John. He loved to hear him, but he was greatly puzzled even though he liked to hear him (Mark 6:20).
Herod was double-minded, languishing between two opinions, and indecisive in his evaluation of Christ and self. Doubt and fear are a helpful tools, when used rightly.
Message title: Decisive Courage (Mark 6:14-29)
Sixteenth week in the Gospel of Mark
Scriptures: Mark 6:14-29
Preacher: Jeff Patterson
Listen or download:
“Everything difficult indicates something more than our theory of life yet embraces, checks some tendency to abandon the straight path, leaving open only the way ahead. But there is a reality of being in which all things are easy and plain-oneness, that is, with the Lord of Life; to pray for this is the first thing; and to the point of this prayer every difficulty hedges and directs us.”
“When I forget the Gospel,
I become dependent upon
the smiles and evaluation of others.”
Mark 6:14-29 (ESV):
The Death of John the Baptist
14 King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some said, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.” 15 But others said, “He is Elijah.” And others said, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 16 But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” 17 For it was Herod who had sent and seized John and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because he had married her. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death. But she could not, 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.
21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 For when Herodias’s daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.” 23 And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.” 24 And she went out and said to her mother, “For what should I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.” 25 And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26 And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. 27 And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison 28 and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
Psalm 56:8-13 (NLT)
You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
9 Then my enemies will turn back
in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.
10 In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise,
11 in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
12 I must perform my vows to you, O God;
I will render thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered my soul from death,
yes, my feet from falling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.
James 1:2-8 (ESV)
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Jude 17-25 (ESV)
A Call to Persevere
17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.Doxology
24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
This year each of us is invited on an adventure to build an altar to God each new day, to look up and love our Creator first. What will be your plan to develop a new rhythm of seeking God each day? » Find some help here.
Team World Vision 6K for Water » GodRenews.us/6K
What: World Vision’s Global 6K for Water is a one day event where people from all over the world unite on the same day for the same cause – clean water
Why: Nearly 1,000 children under 5 die every day from diarrhea caused by dirty water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene. That’s why World Vision is providing a new person with clean water every 30 seconds as part of our full solution to poverty. Clean water frees children from deadly disease, liberates women and children from a life spent gathering dirty water, and opens the door to education, a promising future, and a full life, the kind of life God intends.
When: May 6, 2017 @ 9am