Remain True to Your Calling No Matter the Consequences
Luke 1:17 - And he will prepare the way for the Lord. He will have the same spirit and power that Elijah had. He will bring peace between parents and their children. He will teach people who don’t obey to be wise and do what is right. In this way, he will prepare a people who are ready for the Lord.” (NIrV)
Mark 6: 17-20 - In fact, it was Herod himself who had given orders to arrest John. He had him tied up and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias. She was the wife of Herod’s brother Philip. But now Herod was married to her. John had been saying to Herod, “It is against the Law for you to be married to your brother’s wife.” Herodias couldn’t forgive John for saying that. She wanted to kill him. But she could not, because Herod was afraid of John. So he kept John safe. Herod knew John was a holy man who did what was right. When Herod heard him, he was very puzzled. But he liked to listen to John.
Devotional Series: John the Baptist - A Prelude to Greatness
One of the prophecies spoken before John’s birth was that he would teach people to be wise and to do what is right. As an adult, we see this prophecy come to pass in his life in Mark 6. In verse 18, we are told that John told Herod that his marriage was wrong, it was against the law.
Picture the scene, it might have been the case that Herod had heard of John’s fame and wanted to meet him. Having called John into his court as king, he may have wanted to hear a word from John, something encouraging or wise and what did he get? To his surprise, Herod received a sharp rebuke! Rather than falling under the pressure of the circumstance, John remained true to his calling. He spoke the truth with boldness despite the consequences. The truth he spoke was not a subjective truth but a truth based on the Law (the Word of God).
Often, we shy away from speaking the truth of God’s Word because of our own fears and insecurities. But in John, we see an example of someone who was able to overcome this and speak what was true; despite how uncomfortable it made those who heard him say it. We are told that Herodias was unable to forgive him. I suspect those in the king’s court found it an uncomfortable moment to witness, but John still spoke what he felt led to speak at the time.
It is worth noting, that when we speak truth, the truth must always be mixed with grace. We are not called to be spiteful, rude, or hurtful in the delivery of our message. We don’t have the privilege of hearing how John delivered his message to Herod. But we do know that even though the message given was a rebuke, Herod for some reason still liked to hear John speak. This may point to a delivery that wasn’t viewed as harsh or disrespectful. I am sure many of us can think of a time when we have seen someone deliver a difficult message to someone more senior than us that could have been said more gracefully.
Our call is not to avoid the truth but to always speak the truth and to speak that truth with grace.