Scripture: Mark 6:
17 For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife." 19 So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, 20 because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled [d]; yet he liked to listen to him.
21 Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 When the daughter of [e] Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.
The king said to the girl, "Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you." 23 And he promised her with an oath, "Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom."
24 She went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?"
"The head of John the Baptist," she answered.
Observation: For someone who has adopted a lie, the truth is a hard pill to swallow and they may fight against it and attack those who deliver it.
Application: Are you a truth teller? Are you unafraid of speaking the truth to people, even if it’s not what they want to hear? We are all subject to avoiding the truth in certain areas of our lives. Has anyone ever asked you how a certain piece of clothing looked on them and you told them something like, "It looks good!" even when it didn’t? How about this one, "Do you like my new haircut?" Hmmm, what do you say if the answer that you know to be the truth is different from the answer you know they are wanting to hear?
As I read this scripture today, I am amazed at the boldness of John and his dedication to the truth. Not only is he telling someone something he knows they don’t want to hear, but he’s saying it to people who are powerful and mean, and he knows it!
Jesus said, "The truth shall set you free." Joh 8:32, but it may not set you free in this life. The freedom Jesus spoke of was of an eternal nature, from the origin of heaven, it is freedom of the spirit and soul. But here in this imperfect life, truth may have it’s consequences. People don’t often want to hear the truth, and may even be violently opposed to it.
It’s like when you’ve been sleeping in a very dark room and someone comes in and turns a bright light on right beside your face. What is the first thing that you do? You cover your face, you may yell at the person to turn the light back off, and if they don’t you may get angry at them for blinding you with the light. The truth is like that – people who have grown accustomed to the darkness, may not be able to handle the light of the truth.
Sometimes the truth may have an awful price in this life, but the payoff of following the truth, seeking the truth, and sharing the truth has payoffs in the life to come. "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Prayer: Father of Truth,
Thank you for the truth that is found in the teachings of Jesus, thank you for the truth of your love and salvation that He gives us. Help me to be bold in the truth, and keep me on the path of truth. Forgive me when I fail to accept it and turn rather to the darkness. Flood me Lord with the light of your truth and love and grace and healing.