Summary: when life deals a hard blow, tell it to Jesus!
"TELL IT TO JESUS"
"John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus", (Matthew 14 : 12).
What a birthday party! What a present!
Herod’s birthday feast. One does not need to think to long or hard, to picture what type of party was in progress. A wild party, drunken men drooling over the seductive and provocative movements of an dancing girl. No not a dancing girl, but the king’s step-daughter paraded before the court by her mother. A young girl between the age of twelve and fourteen years of age used and abused in the scheming of her mother, Herodias, Herod’s new wife.
Such was the intoxication and debauchery at the birthday party, Herod being the big man and showing off, made a wild promise, a rash and foolish oath. Whatever Salome wanted she would have. Herod a drunken man made a fool of himself, slobbering and stammering insensibly. ’Whatever you what! What ever you want dear girl’. Obviously caught up in the frenzied moment, Salome not knowing what to ask for, seeks her mother’s advice - the death of a man whose offense had been telling the truth.
Herod who had made a promise could not now lose face, he could not renege on his vow. John was executed and his head "...was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother", (v. 12).
What a party! What a present!
Herod a weak, wild and wicked man, Herodias a woman of loose morals and infidelity. A vindictive and revengeful woman. Salome a girl who was mored sinned against than sinned. Robbed of innocence and led into shameless actions.
We would not want to be guests a such a party. Not a pleasant and happy party. Rather it was a gory and shocking party. If Herod was ’distressed’ and horrified by the events of the party. It is understandable the disgust we feel, even recalling the incident.
Whislt the party opens up plenty of emotive discussion points as we veiw society that evidences amoral behaviour. It is not that which I want to dwell on this morning.
But it is the action of John’s disciple’s that caught my attention. Not only did they brave the kings wrath in order to bury their leader. But, in their time of breavement, ’they went and told Jesus’, (v. 12).
THEY WENT AND TOLD JESUS! The disciple’s of John were stunned and shocked. And they come to Jesus. The news of John’s death deeply affected Jesus. Matthew records that Jesus had to slip away and be by himself. He privately grieved for his cousin.
THEY WENT AND TOLD JESUS! The unexpected happened. Their world was shaken. They had lost their friend and leader. They were devastated. They were sad. They were discouraged. And they came to Jesus. The pain they experienced was intensified by the brutality that was associated with death of their teacher. Numbed by the experience they come to Jesus.
The unexpected takes us by surprise. Our world shakes with events that overtake us and pull us up with a jolt. Things happen that cause us pain and sadness. In a sense, just like John’s disciples our lives can be brutalized. This amoral world can throw a few punches that knock the wind out of us.
It is interesting John’s disciples who obviously knew of Jesus, through John himself, came to him and told him. John’s disciple’s knew that Jesus would want to know.
Cornelie Booth the wife of Herbert Booth, and daughter-in-law to the founder of The Salvation Army wrote,
"Bring Him thy sorrow,
bring Him thy tears,
Bring Him thy heartaches,
bring Him thy fears.
O tell him plainly how thou dost feel,
Ever believing Jesus can heal!
O TELL HIM PLAINLY HOW THOU DOST FEEL. Peter tells the infant Church, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he care for you", (1 Peter 5 : 7). J. B. Phillips translates the verse, "You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal care".
THEY WENT AND TOLD JESUS! What would you like to tell him this morning? Is there something? Tell him...Tell him...
Is there a hurt, a disappointment? "Tell him plainly how thou dost feel, ever believing he can heal"! Is there a need? "Tell him plainly....".
A gruesome birthday party leads John’s friends to Jesus. May we be lead to Jesus through the circumstances that come our way!