Summary: Lessons from the death of John the Baptist.
• Today's passage, though lengthy, reads like a script from a soap opera.
• Though all the sorted details are not specifically mentioned in Luke, they are alluded to as part of the story.
• The twisted nature of man without God can be seen clearly in the intoxication of power, the cruelty of blind ambition, the power of lust, the crippling affect of alcohol or drugs, misguided promises, dysfunctional families, and imbalanced craving for the approval of others.
• What more could daytime drama fans ask for than Mark 6:13-29.
• Let's read our launch text, ask God's blessings and power, and then work through the text.
• Mar 6:25 And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter."
Mar 6:13 And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.
• Just prior to today's reading, the disciples were sent out by Jesus and we see the great results.
• but those results were not only seen, but talked about, and word of it came to high places.
Mar 6:14-16 King Herod heard of it, for Jesus' name had become known. Some said, "John the Baptist has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him." 15 But others said, "He is Elijah." And others said, "He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old." 16 But when Herod heard of it, he said, "John, whom I beheaded, has been raised."
• There was a lot of talk about Jesus' disciples' miracles in Galilee.
• The people said the one who had granted the ordinary men such powers must be a prophet.
• Perhaps He was Elijah.
• However, King Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Galilee and one of six ambitious sons of Herod the Great, fears something else: John the Baptist risen from the grave.
• Why would he jump to such a wild conclusion.
• It turns out he was haunted by his past and a guilt that kept him awake at night.
• He would see John the Baptist in anything at this point as he regretted poor dicisions.
• Mark now flashes back to explain how Herod killed John.
Mar 6:17-20 For it was Herod who had sent and seized John and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because he had married her. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." 19 And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death. But she could not, 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.
• One of Herod the Great's sons, a half brother of Herod Antipas, had a daughter, Herodias.
• Another son of Herod, Philip, married his half-neice.
• Josephus, the great Jewish historian emplies that Herodias was not satisfied with the marriage because Philip was not ambitious enough.
• She had her eye on someone who was smart, devious, desirous, ambitious, and one who would surely gain power and position by whatever means possible.
• Although she had had a daughter from him, Herodias divorced Philip and married another uncle, Herod Antipas.
• To marry Herodias, Herod Antipas had to divorce his first wife.
• This was not done in the dark, but publicly and with much flair.
• John the Baptist, however, was not blinded by the Hollywood style glitz and glamor.
• He publicly preached that it was a sin for Herod to marry Herodias.
• Lev 18:16-17 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother's wife; it is your brother's nakedness.
• Lev 20:21 If a man takes his brother's wife, it is impurity. He has uncovered his brother's nakedness; they shall be childless.
• Herodias resented John's preaching and sought to kill him.
• Herod was intrigued with John's preaching, but never fully embraced it.
• There was something about John that Herod liked and feared, recognizing he was a "holy and righteous man."
• In an attempt to compromise to please his wife and protect John from his wife, he put John in prison.
• But Herodias was not to be deterred. She conceived a plot to kill John the Baptist.
Mar 6:21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee.
• Now we are invited into the palace for a birthday bash that has promised to be the event of the year.