Wednesday, March 10, 2010

John the Baptist Beheaded

Genesis 45:16-28
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
March 10, 2010

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! 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. - Mark 6:14-29

Fallowing “head over heals” in love with someone or some thing is an expression we sometimes use. In the portion of Scripture before us today did anyone really fall head over heals over the Baptist or did his head drop into a basket?

Herod found John interesting; he like to listen to him and ponder over his message. John’s message, as we know, called for repentance and trust in the promised Messiah Jesus. Herod pondered his words.

A party was planned. Herodias (Mrs. Herod) planned the entertainment. Her beautiful daughter would dance seductively with all the veils and such. Then when Herod asked her what she desired as a reward she would ask for the head of John the Baptist on a silver platter. So John ‘lost his head.”

What does this mean for us in this Lenten season? There are extra services but sometimes they conflict with our busy schedules. Wait a minute! “They” conflict with OUR schedules! No1 No! No! If we put Christ first and these extra opportunities for worship and meditate on Christ’s love for us. Lent – more than ever – is a time to say to the world, to all our “oh so important” activities – Stop! It’s Lent and my Savior is more important then anything else and I’m going to put Him first for I have fallen head over heals in love with Him.

In can never remember when our family did not attend these services, so I ask you and your family to do likewise. Nothing is more important! Please, by the power of the Holy Spirit once again fall head over heals in love with Jesus. The Gospel hymn says it so simply “Oh, how I love Jesus, Oh how I love Jesus Because He First Love Me!”

Pr. Hinkle

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished by the comfort of Thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Collect for Laetare Sunday The Lutheran Hymnal © 1940 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.

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