Tuesday 26 November 2013

Mark 6:14-29 - The death of John

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Herod had killed John the Baptist some time earlier, but now rumours reach him that Jesus is John come back from the dead, or perhaps Elijah or a great prophet. And it seems that Herod was spiritually aware and affected by these rumours. He took the view that Jesus was, indeed, a resurrected John. He must have been terrified, and, as a powerful ruler, anxious about the security of his position.

Having shared these details in Mark 6:14-29, Mark winds the clock back and recounts some of the events surrounding John's earlier death. It seems that Herod had not wanted to execute John at all, but actually enjoyed hearing what he had to say.

What can we learn from all this? There are two things, for sure. It's unwise to say what we don't mean, and shame is a powerful emotion that may prompt us to do things we don't want to do.

But apart from those two lessons from Herod's predicament, what else?

We learn that Jesus' fame was immense. Some people thought he was John resurrected. Some thought he was Elijah. Some thought he was a new and great prophet. Those were their best guesses given what they could see at the time. But we know that Jesus is much more than any of these!

Jesus is the essence and substance of the Father, walking amongst us - Immanuel [Tweet it!]. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He was there at the moment of creation and he will still be there at the judgement, sitting on a throne. He is the Great Shepherd of the sheep. He is the Bridegroom, the Head of the church, the great I AM.

He is not John the Baptist, he is not Elijah, and he is far more than any prophet. He is the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the sacrificial Lamb and the Great High Priest. He is the loving Heart of Elohim. And he is our Brother and our Friend.

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