Summary: Did you hear about the man who created a trap and then became the prey of his own invention. Herod is a prime example of that man. Unfortunately, there are many others in this world who are doing the very same thing.
The Weaving of a Woeful Web
Mark 6:14-29 (Matt. 14:1-9)
Jesus was going around working miracles and wonders. Everyone was taking notice. Many were speaking up and expressing their opinion of who they believed that He was. Some believed Him to be a prophet, others said that He was Elijah. But Herod was sure that He was John the Baptist, resurrected from the dead. Without a doubt, Herod was horrified, since he was responsible for the death of John.
Herod the tetrarch
I. Look at the web being weaved--Looking for Pleasures in all the wrong places.
Herodias was actually the second wife of Herod. He had divorced his first wife to marry the wife of his half-brother, Philip. Herodias was also the daughter of another half-brother of Herod. So Herod had coveted a woman who was his sister-in-law and also his niece. How much more like a dog can one go?
Here is a man who has no convictions. He only seeks the momentary pleasure of sin. Like so many others; it does not matter who they have to step on, their goal is to enjoy a few more moments of sensual pleasure.
John the Baptist was quite different. He lived out his convictions. One day he spoke to Herod and told him plainly that he was a criminal for taking his brother's wife. In a few words, he told him to get his act together and make things right.
The world is shouting----Do what you want to, whatever feels good. Life is too short to have hangups. Seek fulfilment in your fantasies. Enjoy the pleasures.
Oh, how we need more like John the Baptist and like Moses.
Hebrews 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
The sin feels good for a little while, but you can be sure that the web you are weaving will become a trap for you later.
17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.
18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
The only genuine satisfaction is found in the Lord.
II. Making a Deal with the Devil--The web continues to be woven.
Herodias hated John with a passion. Life was going to be more miserable for Herod if he didn't get rid of John. But Herod also feared the people, and many of them took John to be a prophet. Herod knew that John was a just and holy man. He really did not want to make a decision. He finally decided on a COMPROMISE, he put John in prison. He decided not to kill him, but he wasn't going to quit his adultery either. John the Baptist spent a year in a dark hole of a prison.
Why do so many try to come up with an option that is not offered by God? You are just making a stickier mess with your web.
You try to make a deal with your sin situation, and all you get is a tangled up mess.
III. Flirting with the Truth
In verse 20, we see that Herod visited John in the jailhouse (probably more than once). He actually enjoyed the visits and the sermons, but he never came to a place of repentance. There are many who like to be close to where the power of God is moving, and even get a splash or two of glory on them, but then they choose to ignore the message. They feel that it is just too costly for them.
It is a dangerous thing to flirt around the fringes of christianity. The one who is so close but will not surrender, will more than likely become calloused and hard.
IV. Puffed Up and Egotistical--The web is getting bigger.
Herod decides to have a birthday bash. He has his 12 year old stepdaughter come in before him and his coherts and perform a sexually erotic dance. How sick is that?
In vs. 21 - 23, one sees how ridiculous Herod has become. He declares--Ask me whatever you want eand I will give it to you.
Herod was not really even a true king; he was a governor. He did not posess a kingom that he could give away. Presumptous and drunk, he was promising things that he could not fulfil.
What about you? Have you created such a gigantic web that now has you ensnared?
V. Trapped in the sin (web) of his own creation.
The web that Herod had weaved was now so big that it encompassed him on all sides. It was swallowing him up. He felt that there was no other option than to succumb to its grasp. So Herod orders the execution of John the Baptist.