Scripture: Matthew 14:1-12
Key verse: (5) “Though Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd because they regarded him as a prophet.”
Reflection: I remember as a child in elementary school this great poster on the wall that said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t need to remember what you said.” I loved this as a kid, thinking I didn’t need to put much energy into remembering what I had said, just tell the truth, that’s easy enough right? Later in life I came to find out that Mark Twain was credited with this quote, I’m sure many others have said something similar. I also came to find that telling the truth isn’t always as easy as I thought when I was a kid.
In our scripture passage for today we see the trouble that John the Baptist gets in for telling the truth, for speaking out against Herod for taking his brother’s wife Herodias. But even more so we see how quickly things escalate when Herod is unwilling to listen to the truth. Herod is however afraid to act against John because the people revere him highly. On the other hand, Herodias wants John dead, but she doesn’t say that directly to her husband Herod, she gets her daughter involved. By the end of the passage the blood of John the Baptist is on all of their hands, and for what? All of this messiness because Herod and Herodias didn’t want to hear the truth about their relationship.
How often have you been John the Baptist in this story? Where have you had hard truth that you needed to tell someone, even if it meant hard times were coming? Or when have you been Herod or Herodias, ignoring the hard truth in your lives, even at the expense of someone else?
May we not only find inspiration from the words of Mark Twain (“If you tell the truth you don’t need to remember what you said”) but may we find comfort in our Lord Jesus who is, “The way the truth and the life.” (John 14:6). For if we abide in Christ who is the truth, we are empowered to speak the truth in love and strengthened to receive even the hardest truth’s.
Prayer: Faithful Lord, may we rest in your Son Jesus, the way the truth and our very source of life. Empower us to speak the truth in love and open our ears that we may hear the hard truths in our lives. Guide us by your Spirit to follow where you may lead. Amen.
Author: John Magnuson
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].