Passage: Matthew 14:1-12
Paraphrase: Herod believed that Jesus was possibly John The Baptist resurrected. John had been put into prison because he had been preaching against the lifestyles of some of the people, namely Herodias. Herodias was Herrod’s wife but she was also his brother Phillip’s wife. Herod had married her illegally. Therefore because John preached against it saying it was unlawful, they had him thrown into prison.
One evening during a party Herod was throwing, Herodias’ daughter danced for Herod and all those who were present. This made Herod happy and seeking to reward her and to impress everyone there, Herod offered her anything she wanted up to half of his kingdom!
Not sure of what to ask for, she went to her mother to inquire. Herodias instructed her to ask for the head of John the Baptist. Immediately she went to Herod and made the request. Even though Herod was saddened by the request ( because he actually like John) he followed through with his oath and had the executioner sent to behead John. Johns head was presented to Herodias’ daughter who brought Johns head to her mother.
Principle: Making promises to be impressive isn’t wise.
Herod was not only high from throwing a party, he was captivated by pleasure from the dance the girl had just given. In an effort to impress her and all those who were at the party he made a blanket oath which ultimately saddened him and cost another his life.
Practice: Don’t get caught up in a moment and say or do things to be impressive.
Use your power and good judgement to make promises that will benefit all not just one.
Be impressive by living right and doing the right things.
Remember though that John was imprisoned and eventually killed because he spoke out against those who committed crimes. Living for God can be dangerous.
It’s interesting that Herod knew that keeping a promise was important. He had to save face in front of everyone but he did keep his word even though it saddened him.
What kind of promises have you made that you regret?
What have you done before just trying to impress others?
How has your lack of discretion cost someone else?
Would I be willing to speak out and speak up for the Truth even if it meant going to jail?
Prayer: Dear Lord, words are important, so help me to be careful about what I say. Don’t let me make promises I can’t keep and keep me from saying things just trying to impress others. Help me to be a person who keeps their promises. And help me to be willing to do and say the right things even if it’s unpopular.