Herod sent to have John arrested, and had him chained up in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife whom he had married. For John had told Herod, ‘It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife.’ As for Herodias, she was furious with him and wanted to kill him;
but she was not able to, because Herod was afraid of John, knowing him to be a good and holy man, and gave him his protection. When he had heard him speak he was greatly perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him.
An opportunity came on Herod’s birthday when he gave a banquet for the nobles of his court, for his army officers and for the leading figures in Galilee. When the daughter of this same Herodias came in and danced, she delighted Herod and his guests; so the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me anything you like and I will give it you.’ And he swore her an oath, ‘I will give you anything you ask, even half my kingdom.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the Baptist.’ The girl hurried straight back to the king and made her request, ‘I want you to give me John the Baptist’s head, here and now, on a dish.’ The king was deeply distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he was reluctant to break his word to her. So the king at once sent one of the bodyguard with orders to bring John’s head. The man went off and beheaded him in prison; then he brought the head on a dish and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. When John’s disciples heard about this, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
Scripture: The words that spoke to me today are
When he had heard him speak he was greatly perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him.
Observation: Perplexed? Be curious and go deeper
Herod is so close to accepting and understanding the messages that John is giving him, if only he had been more curious and gone deeper, imagine what a difference it would have made. This brings to mind all the words, messages and stories that I hear, not just from the Gospel but from all manner of ways and people and how I respond. Many times I hear something and I am perplexed, I don’t really understand what is being said but I like to listen to it none the less, just like Herod. The follow up to this is how to respond when something has struck me. Herod had a choice and it was his thoughtless words that backed him in to a corner that he felt he couldn’t get out of. Perhaps both being open, curious and how I respond are connected to my humility, or more to the point, a lack of humility.
The lesson for me today is to be curious and go deeper, do not eliminate the possibility that it is Jesus speaking to me in and through any possible manner. Grab hold of the perplexing words, be curious, have a closer look and see what it’s all about. Not being in a fixed mindset where I might believe that Jesus only comes to me in a particular manner may help my curiosity and receptiveness to a deeper message. Its not always the obvious message that is the one that I need to hear, but it is important that I don’t ignore the obvious or just gloss over it either. I feel that the perplexing message is just another invitation on top of the obvious to go deeper. So today I will ask the question as many times as I can, “where is Jesus in this?”, in as many people, in as many encounters, as many times as I can remember.
You come to us in all manner of ways, let me be open to seeing and receiving you.
May I not limit how you act in my life, open my mind and heart.
May your grace bless me with a desire to go deeper with you.