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Summary: Do I ever feel like I am in a pressure cooker, or that I am being pulled and pushed in every direction? Well, I can respond like Herod. I can be manipulated by it to the point where I am forced to make decisions contrary to what I know is right. Or I can

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THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:

The Hope College Women’s basketball team had made it to the national playoffs. The final game saw Hope 20 points behind with 10 minutes left to play. The team remained calm and began to narrow the gap. Then with just 5 seconds remaining, a 3 point basket tied the game. The final score was decided by Dina Disney. With no time left on the clock, she sank two free throws to win the game. When television and press interviewers asked her how she stayed calm under so much pressure, Dina said she recited to herself, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Our Daily Bread)

Herod Antipas was ruler of Galilee. He was the son of Herod the Great and had inherited part of the kingdom from his father. Herod the Great was the king who was responsible for the massacre of the children in Bethlehem and the killing of three of his own sons. The marriage tangles of the Herod family are a mixed up mess to say the least. Antipas had stolen Herodias, his half-brother, Philip’s wife while visiting in his home. He divorced his own wife and brought his new wife back to live in the official residence in Tiberias of Galilee. Because of this adulterous marriage and because of Herod’s deliberate seduction of his brother’s wife, John the Baptist publicly rebuked him. This angered Herodias and she wanted to kill John.

When Antipas was drunk at his birthday party, in the castle of Machaerus near the Dead Sea, he promised to give the young daughter of Herodias whatever she wanted. When the daughter checked with her mother about what to ask for she said, "The head of John the Baptist" (v. 24). Even though the king didn’t want to do it he had made a vow and did not want to "lose face" with the group so he sent for John’s head. Now in this passage he hears about what Jesus is doing and he thinks that John the Baptist must have risen from the dead.

APPLICATION:

Do I ever feel like I am in a pressure cooker, or that I am being pulled and pushed in every direction? Well, I can respond like Herod. I can be manipulated by it to the point where I am forced to make decisions contrary to what I know is right. Or I can refuse to yield to it and seek the will of God instead.


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