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November 12, 2022 - Matthew 14

“At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus, and he said to his servants, ‘This is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why these miraculous powers are at work in him’” (14:1-2). What?! Is Herod stupid? Well, no, he’s just stubbornly wicked and will not see what is right in front of him. This is not John, this is one greater than John! Matthew goes on to tell the story of John’s death at the hand of Herod, of whom Matthew writes, “And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he . . . sent and had John beheaded in the prison” (14:9-10). His wet finger to the winds, rather than doing what was right, Herod fell in with the crowd.

You have to wonder if Herod came to know about the following events: Jesus feeding the five thousand, Jesus walking on the water, and Jesus healing the sick in Gennesaret. Back in 2015, the Courier-Journal carried the headline “Darryl Isaacs struck by motorist while biking.” The former dean of the UofL law school described the personal injury attorney, known as “The Hammer,” as the most recognized attorney in Kentucky. Do you think the motorist, when realizing whom he had hit, thought to himself, “Whew boy, this is bad?” Perhaps, later, Herod thought to himself, “Whew boy, that was a mistake!” Probably not.

What do/should we do when sinning? Well, we must not be like Herod. The prophet gives us the answer: “Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon” (Isaiah 55:7).

Ho! every one that thirsts, draw nigh;

Tis God invites the fallen race;

Mercy and free salvation buy;

Buy wine, and milk, and gospel grace.

Come to the living waters, come!

Sinners, obey your Maker's call;

Return, ye weary wanderers, home,

And find My grace is free for all. -- Charles Wesley (18th century)

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