On Days of Sadness

February 4, 2022

Scripture Resource Passage: Matthew 14

Disciples of Jesus enjoy days of peace and gentleness. Being a disciple can be made to seem like a summer afternoon’s walk on a country lane.

However, sadness sometimes slices into the lives of disciples who against opponents persist in trusting Jesus, Messiah of God. Describing John, Matthew’s Gospel quotes Herod saying, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead!” (Matthew 14:2). Dead? John is dead? One day, John’s life was forfeit at a whim of political expedience.

Photo by Abhishek Gaurav on Pexels.com

John had chosen, or had been divinely prompted to comment on a sexual scandal rocking Judean politics. Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her (Matthew 14:3-4).

To some disciples come such occasions of murderous anguish. Suffering a martyr’s attack, John’s head is hacked from his neck as a party favor. Scripture is brutally truthful in the reporting. “His head was brought in on a platter…” (Matthew 14:11).

There was no rescue for John. No band of angels appeared. The foul stench of Satan’s presence stretched throughout the palace as John’s blood soaked into Jerusalem’s soil.

Events like the martyr’s death of John continued to occur in the early years following Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Profoundly aware of such outcomes, some disciples alive in 2022, continue seeking faithfulness through what can be the horror of such times. On days of sadness we honor their deep and life-threatened commitments to the Christ.

Life Applications

Are you aware of others who have died as martyrs?

Why does God not choose to provide a divine rescue for John?

Can you compare the short term and long-term meanings of John’s death?

What are the appropriate prayers for individuals whose faithfulness as disciples caused their death?

Thank you for reading. Comments and suggestions are always welcome. The entire library of this site is meant to serve as a resource for individuals and small groups. Grace and peace to each of you.

Published by Andrew Simkins

Dr. Andrew Simkins provides spiritual direction for individuals and small groups through the regular blog posts found on this site. He resides in northwest Indiana with his beloved, along with nearby children and grandchildren who are the adornment of his life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: