Thursday, 22 March 2018

On John's death

And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.
When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. – Matthew 14.8-13

Of course Jesus was Deity on earth. He was fully God, but at the same time He was fully man. I don’t fully understand it but we can be confident that He was like us. He got hungry and tired and angry and sad.

It doesn’t actually say it here so I won’t press the issue, but I think we do see something of Jesus’ human heart in this story.

John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin. Their disciples were in contact with each other. John had already baptised Jesus and he continued his repentance and baptism ministry.

Now though John had been executed for his preaching. I think Jesus’ response it telling. ‘When He heard about it’ we are told, ‘He departed by ship into a desert place.’ It looks like with that news he wanted to be alone.

I appreciate that because I think we all get that way when bad news hits.  Some would say ‘suck it up and get on with it.’ But even Jesus sought time alone with God when He sorrowed.

We don’t have a high priest untouched by our infirmities – He understand. Therefore we can talk to Him with confidence.

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