Truth Imprisoned

Some chaotic thoughts on Mark 6:14-29
The disciple’s work in your name was making some noise. King Herod heard they had been sent by you and were doing wonders. Herod had a curious heart, a heart intrigued by the preaching of John the Baptizer. John spoke truth to Herod, pointed out the ways he was not living correctly. Herod didn’t like this, but he couldn’t deny he wanted to hear more of what John had to say, because he knew John was holy and righteous. Did Herod think keeping John in prison, safe from Herodias, made him a holy and righteous?

He kept the truth locked up, close by, controlled. Didn’t heed it, but toyed with it. Keeping it safe salved his conscience. Herod had the truth killed because of his pride, but couldn’t silence it’s influence upon him. When he heard of Jesus and the work the disciples were doing, the same fear, curiosity and guilt arose.

How am I (you) like Herod? How do I (you) attempt manage God’s truth? How do I (you) keep God’s truth in prison; nearby so I (you) can listen to it when I (you) want, and shut it up when it gets too close? How does this fool me (you) into believing l am (you are) righteous?

God, I take great heart knowing your truth cannot be imprisoned or killed. My pride cannot silence it, you persist in chasing me, poking me, stirring my conscience. We know the end of the story for Herod, even at Jesus’ trial, he was still seeking truth and not recognizing it even though it was staring him in the face. God, I don’t want to be like Herod, your truth trailing me, and me being blind to it or trying to force it to coddle me and my vanities.

Truth, I know there are areas in my life where I heed you, others where I put you in prison. Break free, Truth. Chase me down. Stare me in the face. You do not serve at my beck and call. “If I make your word my home I am indeed your disciple, I will learn the truth and the truth shall make me free.” So be it. Amen.

Will you join me in setting truth free so we can be set free?

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When your faith wavers (a lesson from John the Baptist

Have you ever had this experience? The faith you confidently held and expressed throughout your life suddenly seems thin and wobbly. What you previously believed without a doubt you now find yourself questioning. If so, you are in good company.

So John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come or are we to wait for another? Luke 7:18,19

John, the one who while still in his mother’s womb recognized Jesus as the Messiah; the one who didn’t want to baptize Jesus because he felt unworthy to even untie his sandals; the one who pointed to Jesus and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world;” this John, the one who was convinced Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, now has doubts. John, in prison and anticipating death because of his faith, now needs reassurance that Jesus is indeed the Christ.

What did John do when he was experiencing a crises of faith? 

He asked his friends to go to Jesus on his behalf. He had a trusted community with whom he could share his doubts, ones who would approach Jesus when he could not. Do you have such relationships? Your doubts might cause you to withdraw or isolate yourself. Do the opposite. Confide in your friends, admit your doubts, ask them to pray, borrow their faith until yours returns.

. .demons love darkness and hiddenness. Inner fears and struggles which remain isolated develop great power over us. But when we talk about them in a spirit of trust, they they can be looked at and dealt with. Once brought into the light of mutual love, demons lose their power and quickly leave us.  – Henri Nouwen The Road to Daybreak

How did Jesus respond to John’s dilemma?

He says, “look at the fruit of my ministry.” It’s so like Jesus to not answer a direct question with a direct answer. He’s committed to building our faith, not coddling our doubts. His answers cause us to examine our lives, pointing us to the ways we are no longer blind, lame, sick, deaf, dead or poor. His answers to our questions drive us to trust his character. Our faith, even as we doubt, is solid and true. Doubts will pass, our faith abides; and remember, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6

when your faith waivers ( a lesson from John the Baptist)

Have you ever had this experience? The faith you confidently held and expressed throughout your life suddenly seems thin and wobbly. What you previously believed without a doubt you now find yourself questioning. If so, you are in good company.

So John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come or are we to wait for another? Luke 7:18,19

John, the one who while still in his mother’s womb recognized Jesus as the Messiah; the one who didn’t want to baptize Jesus because he felt unworthy to even untie his sandals; the one who pointed to Jesus and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world;” this John, the one who was convinced Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, now has doubts. John, in prison and anticipating death because of his faith, now needs reassurance that Jesus is indeed the Christ.

What did John do when he was experiencing a crises of faith?

He asked his friends to go to Jesus on his behalf. He had a trusted community with whom he could share his doubts, ones who would approach Jesus when he could not. Do you have such relationships? Your doubts might cause you to withdraw or isolate yourself. Do the opposite. Confide in your friends, admit your doubts, ask them to pray, borrow their faith until yours returns.

. .demons love darkness and hiddenness. Inner fears and struggles which remain isolated develop great power over us. But when we talk about them in a spirit of trust, they they can be looked at and dealt with. Once brought into the light of mutual love, demons lose their power and quickly leave us.  – Henri Nouwen The Road to Daybreak

How did Jesus respond to John’s dilemma?

He says, “look at the fruit of my ministry.” It’s so like Jesus to not answer a direct question with a direct answer. He’s committed to building our faith, not coddling our doubts. His answers cause us to examine our lives, pointing us to the ways we are no longer blind, lame, sick, deaf, dead or poor. His answers to our questions drive us to trust his character. Our faith, even as we doubt, is solid and true. Doubts will pass, our faith abides; and remember, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6