Sixth Sunday after Trinity 15.7.12 Mark 6.14-29

8 07 2012

Meet the Herods

This is the death of John the Baptist. It is a grim story.  This is the last story in which to expect to find Good News. The last story you expect to find in a Gospel.  But there it is. It is not the whole story – but an integral part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Mark 6.14-29

King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, ‘John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.’ 15But others said, ‘It is Elijah.’ And others said, ‘It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.’ 16But when Herod heard of it, he said, ‘John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.’

17 For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. 18For John had been telling Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’ 19And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, 20for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. 21But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. 22When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.’ 23And he solemnly swore to her, ‘Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.’ 24She went out and said to her mother, ‘What should I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the baptizer.’ 25Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, ‘I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.’ 26The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, 28brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. 29When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

Reflections and Questions

‘King Herod’ v 14

This is not the one whom the wise men visited and then killed all the little children – but his son.

Some things seem to run in families. The police today talk of ‘high impact families’ which are usually multigenerational units of lawlessness. Abuse of power is learnt from parents… where does this thought lead you when thinking about the Herods?

John had been telling Herod…  v 18

that he should never have married Herodias. Most people turned a blind eye. But not John. 

‘Doing a Nelson’ is sometimes wise. Sometimes it is cowardly.  How can you be sure that turning a blind eye is a wise thing and not mere cowardice?

‘the King was deeply grieved’ v  26

His wife and her daughter had conspired and asked for the death of John. Herod had been outwitted.

This is the same Herod who to be was glad to meet Jesus just before his death and who was thereafter reconciled with Pilate. A sociable man, curious about interesting religious figures and people of power… what do you make of that?

‘When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb. ‘ v 29

This seems to be the last duty of disciples. It is very reminiscent of what happens after Jesus’ death.

We hear no more of John’s disciples.  What do you think became of them? Can you imagine them reflecting on all this as they heard of Jesus’ mission to Jerusalem and what happened there? What did they say to each other? What were their questions – and answers?

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4 responses

31 08 2012
Great in the World and Great in the Kingdom of God « De Profundis Clamavi ad Te, Domine

[…] Sixth Sunday after Trinity 15.7.12 Mark 6.14-29 (stephencherry1.wordpress.com) […]

20 07 2012
Who Do You Think He Is? | I Sing for God

[…] Sixth Sunday after Trinity 15.7.12 Mark 6.14-29 (stephencherry1.wordpress.com) […]

14 07 2012
Gary Birchall

Another great sermon starter – picked up on the High Impact Family thought in particular. The Herod’s – High Impact Family or Organsied Crime Family?

9 07 2012
You have one wish…make it count! | Tiffany Keith

[…] Sixth Sunday after Trinity 15.7.12 Mark 6.14-29(stephencherry1.wordpress.com) […]

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