“For John had been telling Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife. And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not. … She went out and said to her mother, ‘What should I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the baptizer.’” (Mark 6:18-24)
The saying that “truth is bitter” comes to play in today’s Gospel passage. The fame of Jesus had now spread all over the place. Many are still in great shock and astonishment as to how this Jesus of Nazareth got the powers that were at work in him. Many wondered at the level of wisdom that proceeded from his words.
Jesus did everything right. Even the winds and seas obeyed His command. The man possessed by demons who terrorized the region of the Gerasenes was now a great preacher and evangelist. The little girl who was dead came back to life by the power of Jesus’ words. Simply touching his garment was enough to draw healing power from Him. Jesus was just too much.
Just had become the number one trending topic in Israel. Everyone had something to say about Him. Many believed that for a person to be this powerful, he probably came back to life a second time. While some concluded Jesus is Elijah, some felt he is John the Baptist returned to life.
Even Herod concluded in his mind that Jesus is John the Baptist; Herod wished he could take back the hands of the clock and undo his woeful mistake. Herod had arrested John the Baptist just to hide the truth, he couldn’t stand the truth. The death of John the Baptist seemed like a victory for Herod, Herodias, and her daughter. Herod had no idea that something greater than John the Baptist would come. The lesson we must learn today is this: “You may kill those who tell you the truth but you can never bury the truth.”
Very often, we are just like Herod, we gather around ourselves a bunch of sycophants and praise singers. Anyone who tells us the truth challenges us or criticizes us, we consider him or her to be our enemy. Instead of accepting our faults, we find a way to eliminate such a person. Be humble enough to accept criticism. You are not always as perfect as your ego makes you believe. Consider those who criticize you to be your real friends helping you to grow.
Once upon a time, a man saw his own funeral announcement on television, it was a case of mistaken identity. This man was shocked to hear what people were saying about him. “So, is this what I will be remembered for?” He said to himself. Meanwhile, no one was bold enough to tell him these things to his face. He decided from that day on to change.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, give me a docile heart to always accept the truth rather than fight my critics. Amen.
Bible Study: Eccles. 47:2-13, Ps. 18:31,47,50-51, Mark 6:14-29).