St. Mark 6: 14 – 29

February 7, 2023

14 And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.

15 Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.

16 But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.

17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her.

18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.

19 Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:

20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

21 And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;

22 And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.

23 And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.

24 And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.

25 And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.

26 And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.

27 And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,

28 And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.

29 And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.

Sigh. Truth tellers. Why does the world – then and now! – have so much trouble (fear?) with truth tellers? Think of St. Stephen who was stoned to death (‘sleep’ is word the Bible uses) by the Jews for telling them the truth about their history. Think of Pilate, who asked Jesus, “What is truth?”. Think about the world today that seems to highly esteem it’s ‘own truth’. There is no such thing as ‘my truth’ – there is only truth.

We are called to read our Bibles by what the Bible does – it tells the truth. If it didn’t, all the Christians since the Resurrection would have given it up, cursed it, and moved on. But that’s not the case – the Bible continues to be the best selling book of all time. Why? Because it’s where we find the rock solid truth. It still convicts people to become Christians. Because it is truth. Because truth is difficult to find anywhere today.

Truth strengthens us, lifts us up, gives us hope, explains the world. Truth is the pearl of great price.

The Bible calls Satan – among other nasty things – ‘the Father of Lies’. John 8:44 – Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. Satan is the power in the common world – lies are everywhere and it’s so difficult to find the truth; a lot of folks don’t even look for the truth, they are comfortable in believing any old lie that makes them feel ‘safe’ or ‘wise’.

We know better. Matthew 7:15 tells us, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” And 1Peter 5:7 advises: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Truth. Be a truth teller. Support truth tellers. Learn to rightly divide the word and promote truth in as many ways as you can. Our souls – and the souls in the world – depend on it.

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