Mark 6:14-29 (NIV)
John the Baptist Beheaded
14 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.” 15 Others said, “He is Elijah.” And still, others claimed, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.” 16 But when Herod heard this, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!” 17 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. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 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[b]; 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 into 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.
What do you do when God’s message leaves you puzzled
Holy God, I just don’t get it. Sometimes You lead me down paths that just don’t make sense. You used death to give me life. You allow Your prophets to be persecuted and killed so their voices were heard. You use pain, suffering, and evil to bring me closer to You. Difficult times may feel like they last forever, but You, Lord, are present in bad times as well as the good. This past year has been tough. You reminded me last night of the great gift of praying with my grandsons before bed. Without shutdowns and virtual school, I would not have had the weekly impact in their lives and they in mine. As evil and hatred seem to be squashing freedoms and liberty, I am noticing a swelling up in Christians around this nation who are waking up from indifference and complacency. Because my faith has been challenged this past year, it is growing to a new and higher level. Lord, You see more than I can see and You know more than I know. You are bigger than any circumstance. Give me the faith to hold on to You and Your Word when life takes unexpected hard turns. Thank You for fellow believers that strengthen my faith and share in my faith journey. Help me to act in obedience and trust that You will ultimately take care of those things that threaten my security. I look to You to hold me securely in difficult circumstances. Thank You for being patient with me while I learn to trust You more. The empty tomb is evidence of Your great love for me. Help me to recognize for evidence of Your hand and trust in You today. Amen