The Death of John the BaptistDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
For Herod had arrested and imprisoned John as a favor to his wife Herodias (the former wife of Herod’s brother Philip). John had been telling Herod, "It is against God’s law for you to marry her."
Along with the New Testament Gospels, the first-century Jewish historian Josephus records with scorn the fact that Herod Antipas married Herodias, who had been the wife of his own brother (Antiquities 18.5.4). When John the Baptist spoke out against this flouting of the Jewish law, he no doubt realized that he might get into trouble. In the end, he was not only arrested, but also beheaded for his boldness.
Speaking out for the truth sometimes earns accolades, but often it leads to criticism or persecution. The employee who reports potential illegal activity in the company may get a promotion . . . or may end up getting fired. The sibling who is courageous enough to say "Dad is an alcoholic" may become persona non grata in the family. Thus we speak out for God's truth and justice, not because we'll win popularity contests, but because that's our calling as the people of God.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have you ever experienced anything similar to what happened to John, even on a very small scale? How did you respond? Are there times when you know you should speak up for the truth, but you hold back because of fear?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I wish our world were different from how it is. I wish those who speak up for righteousness would get accolades. Unfortunately, it's too often the case that boldness for the truth leads to negative consequences. This is one more sign that your world is broken, Lord.
Nevertheless, may I be bold to speak out for you, without being afraid of what might happen. Help me to speak honestly, humbly, and respectfully. May I be unashamed of your truth and unafraid to communicate it in a world that doesn't want to hear it.
I'm reminded to pray for those believers who are in prison today for their boldness in speaking your truth. Comfort them. Encourage them. And may they find justice. Amen.