Mat. 14:6-10…”But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod, so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. Prompted by her mother, she said, ‘Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.’ And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given. He sent and had John beheaded in the prison…”
People preach about this passage all the time, it seems. I generally don’t like preaching anyhow, so I’ll certainly avoid it here. I prefer wonderings…
Briefly. I wonder about the little clause that says, “And the king was sorry.” I wonder, because his sorriness doesn’t do anything: he still beheads Brother John. So I wonder if feeling a certain way about what you have done (or are about to do) is significant at all. In our culture, and in modern Christianity, methinks, feelings generally seem to be more of a gauge about someone’s goodness or sincerity than the thing that they actually do. I would think John was glad to die for his radical preaching about repentance and the Messiah – Herod was a tool in the hands of God, as are we all.
But what of Herod’s sorriness? Is it worth acknowledging? In a positive light, or a negative one?
On the other hand, if Herod had refused to kill John – for whatever reason (fearing the people, perhaps), but had wished with every ounce of himself that he could kill John, would his actions be any less despicable?
Why do we feel a need to justify our actions by letting others know how we feel about what we’ve done?
This has broader implications than just prophet-murder, of course. What about feelings when we sing worship songs, serve others, obey God (in the glorious and in the mundane [which is glorious in its own way]), work, etc.?