Selfish, or change?
Around that time, Herod, the regional governor, heard of the fame of Yeshua 2 and said to his attendants, “This must be Yochanan the Immerser. He has been raised from the dead; that is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.”
3 For Herod had arrested Yochanan, put him in chains and thrown him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip; 4 since Yochanan had told Herod, “It violates the Torah for you to have her as your wife.” 5 Herod had wanted to put Yochanan to death; but he was afraid of the people, in whose eyes Yochanan was a prophet. 6 However, at Herod’s birthday celebration, Herodias’ daughter danced before the company and pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of Yochanan the Immerser.” 9 The king became deeply upset; but out of regard for the oaths he had sworn before his dinner guests, he ordered that her wish be granted, 10 and sent and had Yochanan beheaded in prison. 11 The head was brought on a platter to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 12 Yochanan’s talmidim (disciples/students) came, took the body and buried it; then they went and told Yeshua.
This portion of Matthew is rarely discussed. It really is not the most exciting to read. Learning about a beheading isn't exactly the most fun. And yet, it was included in the Words written by Matthew and part of the story that needs to be told.
John was not afraid to stand up for Torah teaching. He told Herod the Great that he was married to someone he should not be. This caused anger in Herod and he wanted John killed. Concerns of an uprising among the people made him only throw John into prison.
Then along comes his daughter. Pleasing to the eye in her dance, Herod promised her anything. She asked for the head of John the Baptist (prompted by her mom).
Selfishness. This is what it amounts too. The death of John the Immerser was because of someone being selfish. Caught in the moment of not liking what was said or taught and wanting someone else dead.
Most sin (in my opinion) is caused because of selfishness. In the heat of the moment our sinful nature rises and we want something we cannot have. We then speak or act in ways that walk us away from the heart of God.
These verses, as difficult as they can be to read, should help us understand that when someone comes to us and challenges us based on the Word of God, we should stop and take heart to what they are saying. To just dismiss someone's thoughts immediately could lead to a selfish response. We should ponder on what they said and take what is Truth to heart and leave the rest. To react in the heat of the moment usually leads to an inappropriate response.
Stop today and consider those around you who have come to you in love and with Torah teachings that you have "dismissed." Reflect on the reasons why you have "sent them on their way..." Maybe there is some Truth in their teachings. Maybe there needs to be a change in behavior in you.
As "negative" as these verses seem, they can also be a positive. Let's take the good from this and know that HE wants us to learn from Him. Let's read His Words and LISTEN to them. Don't be selfish and try to "change it to fit you." Change yourself and find freedom in Him.
Love and blessings,
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