Scripture: Matthew 14:1-14 [NLT]
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus 2 and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.” 3 For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. 4 Because John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
6 But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. 7 Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.
8 So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.”
9 And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her. 10 So he sent and had John beheaded in prison. 11 And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. 12 Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.
13 When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. (Matthew 14:1-14, New King James Version)
Observation: (What do you see when you read this scripture?)
This passage starts out with the story of how and why John the Baptist was put into prison and then later beheaded and then finishes with how Jesus responds to this horrible news. When he heard what had happened he left where he was and went off to a deserted place. His immediate response to life changing devastating news was to remove himself from the usual and seek out alone time with his Father in Heaven. However, the result was that people in need found him, and he ended up having compassion on others and caring for their needs instead of taking care of his own.
Application: ( How can I apply what I’ve learned to my life?)
There are two big lessons for us in how Jesus responds to the death of his cousin John. One is that his immediate response was to seek out the Father and draw strength, encouragement, and counsel from Him. Two, when faced with the needs of others over his own needs he chose helping others first.
How often do I, when faced with a daily struggle or life changing event, seek out God’s will and strength? I have the Word of God at my finger tips and I know that there is no better place to go for counsel and encouragement; yet, most often I struggle through these things under my own strength and my own understanding.
And when faced with hardship it is so easy for me to become self centered and self absorbed; constantly wanting from others to make me feel better. Jesus went to the source of all wisdom for help and encouragement, and even when faced with troubles helped others in need.
Prayer: (Let God know what you feel.)
Dear Father in Heaven,
Thank you so much for always being there for us. Help me to learn to turn to You more often. Help me to learn to go to the source of wisdom and strength that is never ending and 100% pure. Help me to see Your will in all things; be a good steward of my time and resources and to help others in need. Work on my selfish heart Lord and make it more in tune with Yours. I want to do Your will.
Thank You for all that You provide in my life. Be with my family, friends and church. Thank you for the bible study groups and help them to grow and always to glorify You.
I ask these things in Jesus Name; Amen.