Summary: The consequences of boldness and taking a stand for the truth.
Truth And It’s Consequences
Intro - When the emperor Valens threatened Eusebuis with confiscation of all his goods, torture, banishment, and even death, the courageous Christian replied, "He needs not fear confiscation, who has nothing to lose; nor banishment, to whom heaven is his country; nor torments, when his body can be destroyed with one blow; nor death, which is the only way to set him at liberty from sin and sorrow." - Source Unknown.
Sometimes in the Christian life we will be faced with a choice, a choice between compromise and steadfastness. John the Baptist found himself at a place where he spoke up and spoke out and it literally cost him his head. In our last study of the Life of Jesus we followed Jesus back to His hometown of Nazareth. There we saw Him rejected by the people who had witnessed Him grow up. As we closed we saw that He did heal a few sick people in the town of Nazareth. In the verses 7-13 we read that Jesus sent out His disciples 2 by 2 and he empowered them to preach repentance, cast out demons and heal people. And they did just that.
As we have seen, week after week, Jesus’ fame is spreading abroad and now word has reached King Herod.- Background - v14 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.
This was a discussion about who Jesus is.
Some thought He was Elijah
Some thought He was another Prophet
Herod thought that He was John the Baptist resurrected
What we read here is a flashback in the mind of Herod Antipas. Though he had commanded others to carry out the task, he knew that he was the one who killed this great man of God - v16 but when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.It is extremely interesting that Herod would think that Jesus was a risen John the Baptist. you see, Herod was a Sadducee. The Sadducees denied the supernatural and did not believe in the resurrection.
I want to look at the elements of John’s tragic death and consider the thought “Truth And It’s Consequences” The first thing I would like to see is:
I. The Voice Of Truth - v16 but when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.
Herod is taken back and begins to wonder if this miracle worker (Jesus) is a reincarnated John the Baptist. Let’s take a moment and remember who John was: John the Baptist was the "forerunner of Jesus Christ." God had a plan for John before he was born - Luke 1:15 for he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
John was a Prophet - Matthew 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.The subject of John’s preaching was repentance. He denounced the Sadducees and Pharisees as a "generation of vipers" John baptized many and his fame spread. We read in the gospels that Jesus came to be baptized of John. John spoke of the coming of the Messiah - John 1:27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.Also, when speaking of Jesus, John stated that “He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease”
John made one of the most important proclamations in the Bible in John 1:29 …John saw Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.The greatest testimony of John came from Jesus Himself - “Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist,” Matt. 11:11...........What a great character reference!!
John’s public ministry was abruptly halted when he was cast into prison by Herod. Though he was killed early in his ministry, his words ring true today! John certainly was THE VOICE OF TRUTH! Not only do we se “The Voice Of Truth”, We also see: