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February 3 | Mark 6:21-29


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Getting Away with Murder

by Mary Alice McGinnis


Today’s story is not one of those “feel good” stories that has a happy ending. In fact, it leaves me with a lot of questions. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does it seem that those who do evil continue to thrive? Why do we not see justice done? Why is justice often tainted and twisted into something even more evil?

 

Even though John the Baptist had dedicated his life to being the forerunner of Jesus, it did not prevent him from experiencing the deadly attacks of evil and being executed by beheading.



The first phrase of today’s reading says, “Finally the opportune time came.” 


Where have you seen people prey upon others at an opportune time?


You see, Herod’s wife, Herodias, had been looking for an opportunity to kill John the Baptist. And some commentators think that Herod may have been in on the scheme.



They were looking for a way to “shut him up” because John has called them to account for their evil behavior. (See Mark 6:17)


Evil was out to get John precisely because he was doing what God called him to do. John was called to lead people to repentance, being the voice of one crying in the wilderness of sin, and preparing the way for the Lord Jesus, making a straight path for Him to work in their hearts.

 

If we rewind back to Mark 6:14-20 (yesterday’s reading), we will notice some things.

 

  1. Even though it seemed Herod and Herodias had no conscience and they were “getting away with murder,” Herod was still haunted by guilt and fear. Twice it mentions that Herod thought that John had come back from the dead.

  2. Strangely enough, even though John called Herod to account, he was still intrigued by him. Verse 20 says, “because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him.”

  3. John’s mission though seemingly squelched by being beheaded, his testimony continued to work. I am reminded of Isaiah 55:11 where it says: “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

 

Maybe you have had someone in your life that has done a lot of evil things and seems to have gotten away with it. For me, these verses today caused me to consider that those who have harmed me, those who seem ruthless and without a conscience, maybe they are being haunted by guilt. It led me to think about praying for them as Jesus commanded, “But I tell you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” Perhaps I can pray that the conviction of Holy Spirit will break through their hardened heart to bring them to repentance.

 

Maybe you have been the one who has been haunted by guilt? I too have had guilt haunt me.

I need to pray that the Holy Spirit would break through my hardness of heart. Simply being haunted by guilt does not lead us to repentance. Herod and Herodias did not repent in today's story. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 7:10, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

 

We can continue to try to squelch conviction and become more and more hardened, or we can bring our sorrow and guilt to Jesus and lay it at the foot of the cross. 


Whether evil has been done to us, or by us, we can be assured of this. God will bring about His redemption in ways we cannot fully comprehend. His opportune time is always at work and is His ways are eternal. 


PRAYER

Use the lyrics of this song Back to Life, by Bethel Music, to bring your heart to God today.

 

The enemy thought he had me. But Jesus said, "You are mine."






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1 comentario


robin.lorms
03 feb

Good afternoon, Mary Alice.

When I read John's story my heart sinks until I remember Jesus knew this was coming. So we have to ask, "what was the 'good' in takin John out of the ministry of advancing the kingdom".


I have a friend whose father was unjustly killed on the day my friend was introducing his fiancee to his dad whom he loved more than anyone could imagine. Why did God allow such a tragedy? My friend told his story of forgiving his dad's killer to men in prison. Several came to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior because of Randy' forgiveness albeit a couple years after the murder. I can see the "good" in the redemption resulting…

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