< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Mark 6:19 – 29

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mark 6:19 – 29

Mark 6:19 – 29 19 So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, 20 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. 21 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. 22 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.” 23 And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.” 24 She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” “The head of John the Baptist,” she answered. 25 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.”

26 The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27 So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, 28 and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 29 On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

No well bred Jewish girl would have danced in public like this. Apparently it was a very suggestive dance. But these were just really wicked people all the way around! Herod has this huge party filled with important people and lots of wine flowing. He’s bragging in front of them when he promises her anything. He was showing off.

And then the party took a horrible turn. Just like sin often does. The people at the party never expected to see the head of Israel’s greatest prophet on a platter that night. Sin never tells us how bad it’s going to get.

There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who are never forsaken by God and those who are. Herod was forsaken. John was not. Even as he sat in prison and was then beheaded. Don’t let worldly circumstances confuse you. John was at peace with God. Herod Antipas wasn’t ever at peace. That’s why he thought maybe Jesus was John back from the dead. Because of his guilty conscious. Even when John was alive he was afraid of him. He feared his popularity, he worried about the crowds, he worried about John’s message. That too is what sin does. It leaves us worried, uneasy and paranoid.

How different John was. He was a great man and yet ego free. He was truly humble. He said about Christ, “He must increase and I must decrease.” Most people are filled with pride and most often for no reason! He lived to honor Christ. To point to Him.

Luke 3:15-17 15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

John 1:29 “Behold the Lamb of God coming to take away the sins of the world.”

Our lesson from him is to always magnify Jesus. Always point people to Him.

In Luke 23:8-12 Herod Antipas also had a lot to do with Jesus’ death: 8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. 9 He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. 12 That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.

He was pleased to finally see Jesus because he could finally see he wasn’t John risen from the dead! But then after Jesus wouldn’t entertain him, he mocked Him and “sent Him back to Pilate.”

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