Saturday, July 8, 2017

‘Peer Fear’ – Matthew 14:1-5

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.

—Matthew 14:1-5

Key Thought

We sometimes talk about peer pressure and its power over teenagers. But if we look at ourselves, I think we’ll find that adults are at least as vulnerable to peer pressure as teenagers. Just look at how we fall into line with fashion clothing, cologne, cars, neighborhoods, political opinions, morals, and hairstyles. Even our leaders seem to check which way the wind is blowing and gather the latest poll data before they will announce their opinions on any given subject. Herod reveals his fear and weakness. He is afraid John is risen. He is afraid of John because he told the truth. He is afraid of John because of his adulterous relationship with his brother’s wife and John’s willingness to speak the truth—this was also an incestuous relationship according to the Jewish law. He is afraid to kill John because of the people’s fascination with John. Herod is not a statesman ruler; he’s a fearing reactor to political winds. We, too, forfeit our right to be called people of integrity when we cave in to the pressure of those around us and abdicate our values, principles, and beliefs to avoid scrutiny. No matter what accomplishments we may achieve, they are worthless because they are never enough since we fear losing recognition for them, losing the support of others, and losing the notoriety of our achievement.

Today’s Prayer

Holy God and Divine Father, forgive me for the times that I have backed down from my convictions because of peer pressure. Give me the Spirit of power and boldness to not only stand for you when it is easy, but also when it is difficult. Help me be a person of proven integrity and faithfulness. 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

That is why I want you to remember the gift God gave you. God gave you that gift when I put my hands on you. Now I want you to use that gift and let it grow more and more, like a small flame grows into a fire. The Spirit God gave us does not make us afraid. He is our source of power and love and self control. So don’t be ashamed to tell people about our Lord {Jesus}. And don’t be ashamed of me—I am in prison for the Lord. But suffer with me for the Good News. God gives us the strength to do that. God saved us and made us his holy people. That happened not because of anything we did ourselves. No! God saved us and made us his people because that was what he wanted and because of his grace (kindness). That grace was given to us through Christ Jesus before time began. That grace was not shown to us until now. It was shown to us when our Savior Christ Jesus came. Jesus destroyed death and showed us the way to have life. Yes! Through the Good News Jesus showed us the way to have life that cannot be destroyed. — 2 Timothy 1:6-10

Then Jesus called the people to him. His followers were also there. Then Jesus said, “If any person wants to follow me, he must say ‘No’ to the things he wants. That person must accept the cross (suffering) that is given to him, and he must follow me. The person that wants to save his life will lose it. And every person that gives his life for me and for the Good News will save his life forever. It is worth nothing for a person to have the whole world, if he loses his soul {in hell}. A person could never pay enough to buy back his soul. The people that live now are living in a sinful and evil time. If any person is ashamed of me and my teaching, then I will be ashamed of that person. I will be ashamed of that person at the time I come with the glory of my Father and the holy angels.” — Mark 8:34-38

I am proud of the Good News. The Good News is the power God uses to save every person that believes—to save the Jews first, and also to save the non-Jews. — Romans 1:16


Ⓒ 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 09, 2017
From: “What Jesus Did! from Heartlight”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2uXKAA9
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: What Jesus Did!

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