Poison in the Palace

The arrest of John the Baptist meant the free were bound, but the bound were free.  What poison permeated the palace of King Herod!  My post today is done with a challenge to promote thinking, grappling with issues of observation, interpretation and application from Mark 6:14-28.

1) In John 10:41, people, coming to Jesus, said, “Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true.”  Why did Herod think Jesus was actually John the Baptist raised from the dead? Why did God not enable John to perform miracles?

2) Read Malachi 4:5,6.  Jesus said, “And if you are willing to accept it, he (John the Baptist) is the Elijah who was to come.” (Matthew 11:14) In what ways are John the Baptist and Elijah similar? If John was ‘the Elijah’ to come, does Scripture lead us to anticipate a future ‘Elijah’ like prophet?

3) Galatians 5:19-21 describes 4 different ‘types’ of sin – Sexual, Spiritual, Sins of Attitude & Sins of Appetite.  What sins were Herod & Herodias guilty of in this episode in their lives? 

4) What was Herod’s assessment of John the Baptist? Does a good reputation prevent trials?  How would you describe Herod’s response to truth?

5) How was Herod trapped by the words he had spoken? What should mark our speech?  James 3 speaks of the power and danger of our tongues.  How do you keep control of your speech?

6) How often do you pray for those in authority over you? Read the opening verses of 1 Timothy 2 and pray today for those who are entrusted by God with leadership.  Be encouraged with the example of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel or the king of Nineveh in Jonah, who though foreign kings submitted to the sovereignty of God.  

7) What poison do you see in your own palace?  Read 2 Chronicles 7:14 and consider God’s call there to His own people to repent.

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