This Sunday’s worship continues both our Healing Hands series exploring miraculous healing stories of Jesus, as well as our Summer Schedule, one combined service at 10am through July and August.
Pastor Christopher brings the message this weekend. This week’s Sermon Note is heavily influenced by the UMC Discipleship website, which includes series and preaching helps for Lectionary preachers.
Who is John the Baptist? What are the rumors about Jesus, John, and their ministries? How did King Herod respond to the word on the street? How are you and your congregation known in your city, community, and regional area? What impact are you making as followers of Jesus Christ?
Thematically, these words jump out:
How was Jesus known to the people? What is the truth about his birth, life, and future?
Stories of healing followed Jesus. John the Baptist declared to all the importance of repentance: change now! John and Jesus offered the world new hope that was different than what King Herod offered.
How did being known impact Jesus and John the Baptist? What power did King Herod exhibit by killing John? Did King Herod believe that beheading John could diminish the authority of Jesus and his disciples?
Sometimes the challenge in Scripture is connecting the passage with current realities. Are there places in your community where you see envy, power, and truth being redirected to create discord? Is “being known” a human condition that leaders are responding to in both positive and negative ways?
Mark 6:13-26 (CEB)
13They cast out many demons, and they anointed many sick people with olive oil and healed them.
Death of John the Baptist
14Herod the king heard about these things, because the name of Jesus had become well-known. Some were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and this is why miraculous powers are at work through him.” 15Others were saying, “He is Elijah.” Still others were saying, “He is a prophet like one of the ancient prophets.” 16But when Herod heard these rumors, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised to life.”
17He said this because Herod himself had arranged to have John arrested and put in prison because of Herodias, the wife of Herod’s brother Philip. Herod had married her, 18but John told Herod, “It’s against the law for you to marry your brother’s wife!” 19So Herodias had it in for John. She wanted to kill him, but she couldn’t. 20This was because Herod respected John. He regarded him as a righteous and holy person, so he protected him. John’s words greatly confused Herod, yet he enjoyed listening to him.
21Finally, the time was right. It was on one of Herod’s birthdays, when he had prepared a feast for his high-ranking officials and military officers and Galilee’s leading residents. 22Herod’s daughter Herodias came in and danced, thrilling Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the young woman, “Ask me whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.” 23Then he swore to her, “Whatever you ask I will give to you, even as much as half of my kingdom.”
24She left the banquet hall and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?”
“John the Baptist’s head,” Herodias replied.
25Hurrying back to the ruler, she made her request: “I want you to give me John the Baptist’s head on a plate, right this minute.” 26Although the king was upset, because of his solemn pledge and his guests, he didn’t want to refuse her.
Consider these questions:
- Prayerfully think about your identity and reputation. What are you known for in your community? How are you sustaining and growing your faith?
- What is repentance? How is discipleship lived in your congregation? What does sending forth disciples two by two look like in your congregation now?