The beheading of John the Baptist.

King Herod heard about everything that Jesus was doing. His name had become well known because of all the miracles and healings that he performed. He was perplexed and thought that Jesus must be John the Baptist raised from the dead, because he was able to do supernatural things. Others thought that he was Elijah, and others thought that he was one of the ancient prophets come back from the dead. Herod said “I beheaded John, so who is this I’m hearing stories about?” He wanted to see Jesus for himself.

MT 14:1-2, MK 6:14-16, LK 9:7-9

Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested and put in chains in prison, on account of the fact that he had married Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. John had told him that it was not lawful for him to be married to his brother’s wife.

Herodias had a grudge against John because of this and wanted to kill him, but she couldn’t because Herod was afraid of the crowd. They thought that John was an upright and godly man, and a prophet. Herod was disturbed every time he heard what John had to say, yet he still liked to listen to him.

Herodias found an opportunity to get what she wanted at Herod’s birthday party, when he gave a large banquet for all the important people in Galilee. Her daughter pleased everyone at the party with her dancing. Herod made an oath in front of everyone that he would give her anything she asked for, even up to half his kingdom.

She asked her mother what she should request and her mother said “John the Baptist’s head!” Herodias’ daughter asked to be given John the Baptist’s head on a platter right away.

Herod was full of regret, but because of the oath he made in front of important guests he sent orders for John to be beheaded. His head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who then carried it to her mother.

When John’s disciples received the news, they removed the body, placed it in a tomb, and then went to tell Jesus what had happened.

MT 14:3-12, MK 6:17-29

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Rejected in his hometown.

Jesus then went to his hometown of Nazareth, taking his disciples with him. He stood up to teach and to read in the synagogue on the Sabbath as he usually did.

MT 13:54a, MK 6:1-2a, LK 4:16

He was given the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll to the place where it was written: “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted and to proclaim freedom to those in captivity, and healing to those who are blind, to set free those who are oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Rolling up the scroll, he gave it back and sat down. Everyone in the synagogue was looking intently at him. He then said “Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled.”

LK 4:17-21

They were amazed and said “How did he get to be so wise, and how is he able to perform miracles? Isn’t this Joseph the carpenters son? Isn’t his mother Mary, and isn’t he the brother of James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters sitting here with us? Where does he get these ideas?” They were offended by what he said.

MT 13:54b-57a, MK 6:2b-3, LK 4:22

Then he said “No doubt you will quote the proverb ‘Doctor, heal yourself.’ And you will say ‘Do everything here that you did in Capernaum.’”

LK 4:23

“Mark my words, a prophet is accepted and given honor everywhere except his hometown, in his family, and in his home.”

MT 13:57b, MK 6:4, LK 4:24

“But I tell you there were certainly many other widows in Israel in Elijah’s days when there was a drought for three and a half years, and a great famine because of it. Yet Elijah was sent to only one of them, a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. And later in Elisha’s time there were many who had leprosy, but he healed only one of them, Naaman from Syria.”

Everyone in the synagogue became very angry when they heard this. They drove him out of town to the edge of a hill, meaning to throw him over the cliff, but he walked through the crowd and left instead.

LK 4:25-30

He was only able to heal a few sick people there, not many miracles at all. He was amazed at their unbelief.

MT 13:58, MK 6:5-6

Poem – discipline

In order to gain something you need,
you have to give up something you want.

Reading, study, sleep,
versus
TV and the internet
for instance.

Consider the
monkey with his hand in the jar.
He can hold onto what is in the jar,
or pull his hand out
and be free.
He can’t do both.
What are you holding onto?

Time, money, energy
– these are all things we spend.
Are they giving good value for you?