Herod’s Beheading of John the Baptist

Text: Mark 6:14-29

Reflection and Question: It is hard to comprehend the immense and capricious power wielded by people like Herod in Jesus’ time. Herod actually liked John the Baptist and enjoyed being challenged by his preaching. But when Herodias prompted her daughter to ask, in the midst of Herod’s guests, for John’s head, Herod’s need to save face overwhelmed any appreciation he had for the man. John’s disciples showed great courage just to recover the body. When you ponder the helpless position of the people in the face of the powerful in Jesus’ time, how do you feel? Who do you see as the power-brokers in our world today and how do you feel about them?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to imagine Your sorrow and dismay at the news of John’s senseless death. Give us a deep awareness of the uncertainties of Your world and the faith You brought to Your situation that we may have faith in ours. Amen.

This meditation is based on the Daily Lectionary Year 1 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).