When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled yet he liked to listen to him. (Mark 6:20bNIV)
This morning I read about the beheading of John. Herod knew there was something different about John. He challenged Herod’s marriage but still Herod was intrigued. The scripture says, “…he liked to listen to him.” Why? What did John have to say that interested Herod? He was honest about his disapproval of Herod’s lifestyle and yet Herod liked listening to him.
Herod wanted to hear about the Lord. I think something about the way John spoke of the Savior pierced Herod’s heart. Perhaps, in the midst of a life of self-indulgence, Herod heard words of hope. He had power but I believe in his heart he was terribly insecure. The passage goes on to say, “The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her.” (vs. 26) The only reason he agreed to murder John was to appease everyone around him.
Recently, an acquaintance told me a “God-story”. One morning she pushed the wrong buttons on her remote and found herself on a Christian television station. She was hoping to catch the news for a few minutes before leaving for work but instead found a speaker talking about personal Goliaths. The television preacher spoke about big things we think we cannot conquer. They cause worry and fear. The woman telling the story shared about her life at that time. She talked about how she wasn’t sleeping well and was terribly worried about different situations she had to handle. There was something about that message that resonated with her.
I found it interesting that my friend didn’t turn the television to the news when she realized she pushed the wrong buttons. She wanted to hear what God had to say. She believed God wanted her to hear that particular message. I don’t know her spiritual status. I know she believes in God and in that moment, she knew He had something for her. He wanted to calm her nerves and be fearless in facing her day. She went on to tell me she faced her Goliaths and it wasn’t nearly as horrible as she anticipated.
You never know when the Lord will use what you are saying to speak to someone’s heart. Imprisonment didn’t stop John from sharing Jesus. He still continued on his the mission set before him. The television preacher will never know the impact that was made on my friend but he will still preach on. Sometimes, the simplest little words mean the world to someone who wasn’t even looking for God at that moment. He comes to us when we least expect it.