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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

JOHN THE BAPTIST BEHEADED


 

Today’s Reading:

Mathew 14:1-11

And he sent and beheaded John in the prison(v. 10, KJV)

 


The fame of Jesus spread around Galilee and at that time, Herod the Tetrarch – one of the sons of Herod the Great who reigned when Jesus was born – ruled over Galilee and therefore heard much about Jesus.


Herod imprisoned John because John boldly spoke out against Herod’s ‘’improper’’ marriage to his brother – Philip’s wife named Herodias. –( Matt. 14:3). When Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and impressed Herod. Therefore, he promised under oath to give her whatever she might ask.- (Matt.14:6). Having being coached and influenced by her mother (Herodias), she said ‘’give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter’’.-( Matt.14:8). Herod felt bad at her request, but because of the oath and the guests who were there at the party, he had John the Baptist beheaded and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she took the head to her mother.


Herod knew it was wrong to kill John the Baptist, an innocent and righteous man. In ordering John’s execution, Herod violated his conscience. When Herod heard about the great works of Jesus and fame, his guilty conscience imagined that Jesus was John the Baptist who was coming back from the grave to hunt and shame him, Herod’s wife and daughter wanted John dead and his birthday party guests had heard him make a promise and would probably ridicule him for not keeping his word if he went back on his promise. Herod preferred the approval of the people around him than to be seen as a promise and oath breaker. Herod compromised truth and Justice because of the pressure of public opinion and his own personal lustful interest in his brother’s wife.


I am sure all of us can think of times when we compromised with what we knew was the right thing to do and instead opted for the line of least resistance. John is an example of integrity. And like him, each one of us has been called in our own different ways to be a spokesman for God’s way. Speaking truth to power is never easy, it always exacts a price. For John, the price was a steep one indeed, yet he was ready to pay it.


In death and in life, Jesus and John the Baptist are intimately linked. Beheading, like crucifixion, was a shameful public death. John was always praised by Jesus – ‘’no greater has been born of woman than John’’ (Mathew 11:11). John lost his life in order to follow the ways of God.

BABALOLA IKOTUN


 

Prayer:

  1. Lord, give me the courage and wisdom to say what I believe to be true, in the name of Jesus.

  2. Give me the capacity to always be a person of integrity, in Jesus name.

  3. Lord, give me the courage to do what is right, whether it is popular or not, in the name of Jesus.

  4. Every spiritual and physical barrier and limitation to the Church fulfilling the purpose of God, break and be destroyed by the power in the blood of Jesus, in Jesus name.

  5. By the power in the blood of Jesus, we break and destroy every covenant with the power from the dry land over our nation, in Jesus name.

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