AN UNBRIDLED PREACHER

“So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, ‘Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.'”

Matthew 14:8

In a day when we are showered with being “politically correct” and using non offensive vocabulary, we read the story of John the baptizer and his fearless preaching, even choosing to address the action of Herod Antipas taking his brother’s wife for himself. John, knowing the Scriptures, did not backtrack, and so Herod imprisoned him.

Other factors surface; Herod would have put John to death, but he knew that many of the people treated John as a prophet. To do such a thing would bring and uprising from the crowd, and so he played the politician of the hour, leaving him in prison.

Herod, celebrating his birthday invited numerous dinner guests. As the evening wore on he brought Herodias daughter in to dance before the crowd. In pleasing him and his guests, and probably heavily imbibed, he “promised with an oath” to give her as a gift anything she wanted. (Sounds like a parent of 2019.) A quick consultation with her mother and she made her request: “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist”. (Matt. 14:8) Try to comprehend the bitterness that was obvious in that request. What type of dance was performed that so captivated this audience?

Given to the pride of the moment, Herod ordered her gift to be delivered. No common sense was applied even though he had wanted to hear this unbridled preacher. That youngster delivered John’s head to her mother. What a disgraceful birthday party! Now we see what guilt and bitterness can do and how a demonically controlled individual can conduct themselves in such a vicious manner.

John’s disciples came, took his body and buried him. Then they went and reported to Jesus what had taken place.

Imagine living with a conscience under such gruesome circumstances. Such atrocities can be forgiven by God through faith in the blood sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf, but never forgotten as the conscience remains at work.

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