Sunday, July 9, 2017

‘Deep Darkness’ – Matthew 14:6-12

On Herod’s birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced for Herod and his group. Herod was very pleased with her. So Herod promised that he would give her anything she wanted. Herodias told her daughter what to ask for. So she said to Herod, “Give me the head of John the Baptizer here on this plate.” King Herod was very sad. But he had promised to give the daughter anything she wanted. And the people eating with Herod had heard his promise. So Herod ordered that the thing she asked be done. He sent men to cut off John’s head in the prison. And the men brought John’s head on a plate and gave it to the girl. Then the girl took the head to her mother, Herodias. John’s followers came and got his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus what happened.

—Matthew 14:6-12

Key Thought

“Up to no good.” My parents and grandparents used that phrase a lot when I was growing up. As I’ve come to middle adulthood, I like the phrase, too! There are some things, some activities and some places, that are only for those folks who are “up to no good.” Our decision to sin and betray our faith occurs when we choose to put ourselves in those places because we know what they’re about. Once we’re there and involved, it becomes very difficult not to get sucked into the vile activities involved.
The only thing that was greater than Herod’s fear of the people was his sinfulness. Bedding his brother’s wife, he has his niece/step-daughter perform a lustful dance that arouses his passion and the vilest of instincts among his drunken companions.
Clearly this is a situation where everyone is “up to no good.” The results are tragic and horrifying. The despicable way that John’s body is desecrated speaks volumes of the decadence and debauchery that have taken over in Herod’s world.
The clear lesson for you and me is to avoid the presence of evil and the places where everyone is “up to no good.”

Today’s Prayer

Holy and merciful Father, guard my heart from wickedness and guide my steps away from evil. Through your Spirit, give me the gift of discernment so that I may recognize when Satan is trying to lure me into situations that are disastrously evil and vile. I want to serve you in honor and integrity. Please forgive me for my sin and empower me to do your work. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Today’s Verses in Context

When Jesus finished teaching with these stories, he left there. Jesus went to the town where he grew up. Jesus taught the people in the synagogue, and the people were amazed. The people said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and this power to do miracles ? This is only the son of the carpenter. And his mother is Mary. His brothers are James, Joseph, Simon and Judas. And all his sisters are here with us. So where does this man get this wisdom and the power to do these things?” And the people refused to accept Jesus. But Jesus said to the people, “Other people give honor to a prophet. But people in that prophet’s own town or own home don’t give honor to him.” The people there did not believe in Jesus. So Jesus did not do many miracles there. At that time Herod, the ruler {of Galilee}, heard the things people said about Jesus. So Herod said to his servants, “This man (Jesus) is really John the Baptizer. He must have risen from death. That is why he is able to do these miracles. ” Before this time, Herod had arrested John. Herod had tied John with chains and put him into prison. Herod arrested John because of Herodias. Herodias was the wife of Philip, Herod’s brother. Herod arrested John because John told Herod: “It is not right for you to have Herodias.” Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people. The people believed that John was a prophet. On Herod’s birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced for Herod and his group. Herod was very pleased with her. So Herod promised that he would give her anything she wanted. Herodias told her daughter what to ask for. So she said to Herod, “Give me the head of John the Baptizer here on this plate.” King Herod was very sad. But he had promised to give the daughter anything she wanted. And the people eating with Herod had heard his promise. So Herod ordered that the thing she asked be done. He sent men to cut off John’s head in the prison. And the men brought John’s head on a plate and gave it to the girl. Then thegirl took the head to her mother, Herodias. John’s followers came and got his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus what happened.Matthew 13:53-14:12

Related Scripture Readings

I say these things because you know that we live in an important time. Yes, it is now time for you to wake up from your sleep. Our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost finished. The day is almost here. So we should stop doing things that belong to darkness (sin). We should prepare ourselves to fight evil with the weapons that belong to the light (good). We should live in a right way, like people that belong to the day. We should not have wild and wasteful parties. We should not be drunk. We should not do sexual sins or sin in any way with our bodies. We should not cause arguments and trouble or be jealous. But become like the Lord Jesus Christ, so when people see what you do, they will see Christ. Don’t think about how to satisfy your sinful self and the bad things you want to do. — Romans 13:11-14

In the past you wasted too much time doing the things that the non-believers like to do. You were doing sexual sins. You were doing the evil things you wanted. You were becoming drunk, having wild and wasteful parties, having drunken parties, and doing wrong by worshiping idols (false gods). Those non-believers think that it is strange that you don’t do the many wild and wasteful things that they do. And so they say bad things about you. — 1 Peter 4:3-4

Try to learn what pleases the Lord. Don’t do the things that people in darkness do. Doing those things brings nothing good. But {do the good things to} show that those things in darkness are wrong. It is really very shameful to even talk about the things those people in darkness do in secret. — Ephesians 5:10-12


Ⓒ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware. Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.

Date: July 10, 2017
From: “What Jesus Did! from Heartlight”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2u30oVj
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: What Jesus Did!

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