The Weekend Word
The Death of John the Baptist
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus,
- Remember, Jesus is ministering in the boonies and word does not travel fast.
2 and he said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.”
- Herod must be paranoid – he now sees the things John the B spoke of coming to life in Jesus.
- Our sin makes us paranoid.
- I killed God’s man, John the B and now god has raised him back up to get me.
3 For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife,
- No matter what John said about sin, it didn’t matter to Herod until it got personal.
- Aren’t we like that? Conviction makes you look over your shoulder.
4 because John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.”
- Today we cannot get people in the church to say adultery is wrong – let alone the kind that involves your brother’s wife.
- John the B was trying to call Herod to repentance.
5 And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet.
- I found it interesting that the people still recognized a prophet — after no prophet for 400 yrs. Think back 400 years to 1616 – what is in our collective memory?
- And that Herod was sensitive to the thoughts of the people.
6 But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod,
- This is not some formal proper British tea party.
- The booze ran freely and the daughter was probably a pole dancer.
7 so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.
- Was it a fool’s promise? Is Herod an idiot?
- I am sure he is drunk, lustful and out of control.
8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.”
- This is a spiteful woman.
- Don’t mess with me and my affairs … literally.
9 And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given.
- Oath my eye – he was prideful and uncaring.
10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison,
- He made John shorter by a head.
11 and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.
- The king’s promise fulfilled to the letter.
12 And his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and they went and told Jesus.
- I wonder. When they came to pick up the body, did they also claim the head?
- And they went and told Jesus.
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.
- To get a moment to handle the situation of what just happened to his cousin.
- He removes himself for some time to be by himself.
- But… the crowds heard and followed him.
14 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
- Even in his time of grief, Jesus has great compassion for those in need.
- So he hangs out his messiah shingle and heals the sick … and remember, at an earlier time he links healings with the forgiveness of sin.
15 Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
- An all day healing session
- Why would anyone send someone away from Jesus?
16 But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.”
- Jesus didn’t just hang around – he ate and drank with sinners – these are my people.
- Table fellowship. This is where we see true worship. God comes on the scene, in our churches to give to us – in this case, Jesus came to give us a 2nd birth – not we come to church to give God something.
17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.”
- They need more Joel Osteen thinking
- The Power of I Am.
18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.”
- What does Jesus say to us? What you have, bring it to me and I will cover you.
- The problem – going back to the manna – Jesus provides out of nothing.
19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
- Notice Jesus didn’t ask for power to do this – he didn’t ask the Father to do it.
- He just raised his eyes and blessed what was to happen.
20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.
- They were all satisfied – These are the ones who hunger and thirst and they commune with Jesus and they are satisfied.
- Relief for their sin and burdens.
- When Jesus eats with his people, he is communing with them
- Here you have church.
- Note that they picked up more than they started with.
21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
- 5,000 men + Women + Children = perhaps 10,000