Lessons Of A Lifetime

Son Of A Murdering Father
Or
Like Father – Like Son
Sunday June 14, 2020

Scripture To Consider:
“Now King Herod heard of Jesus, for His name had become well known. And Herod said, ‘John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in Him.’ Others said, ‘It is Elijah.’ And others said, ‘It is the Prophet, or like one of the prophets.’”

“But when Herod heard, he said, ‘This is John, whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead!’ For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her. Because John had said to Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’”

“Therefore, Herodias held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not; for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard John, he did many things, and heard John gladly.”                        Mark 6.14-20

Something To Consider:
Herod Antipas was the son of a murdering father. And yet, it appears he was struggling with a guilty conscience over the beheading of John the Baptist. This Herod was one of the three sons of Herod the Great, who murdered all of the male children two years and under in Bethlehem and the surrounding regions at the time of the birth of Jesus approximately three decades earlier.

When Herod the Great died, his son Herod Antipas ruled Galilee in his place. This Herod Antipas of our text was already married, and yet, while visiting his brother Philip in Rome he seduced his wife Herodias and she married Herod Antipas. This according to Leviticus 18.16 was against Jewish law and John the Baptist let Herod know in no uncertain terms of his sin. Therefore, Herod Antipas imprisoned John.

Human and demonic nature is to react in a manner that attempts to silence the true prophet of God in every generation. The message of a true prophet of God is nothing more or less than speaking the written and preserved Word of God with the divine authority of God. And in John the Baptist’s case, even imprisonment did not stop him from proclaiming the true message of God!

And in John’s case, even his violent and cruel revengeful death did not silence his voice of conviction. Even after Herod cowardly murdered John, he believed Jesus to be John returned from beyond the grave. Conviction is a strong divinely appointed means of bringing our sin to the forefront of our minds. And even Herod, the son of a murdering father, could not silence the voice of conviction.

Something Else To Consider:
If ever there was a textbook training manual entitled, “The Fast Track To A Hellish Family”, it could have been written by Herod the Great. He was married multiple times. He was single-handedly responsible for the massacre of the innocent children in Bethlehem as mentioned earlier. And as he neared the end of his life, it was said; “It was safer to be Herod’s pig, than to be Herod’s son.

Herod murdered his son Antipater. Then he murdered two more sons by another wife, Alexander and Anistobulus. Herod the Great feared losing his political position and power even to his own sons. And in the end, he died a most terrible disease-stricken death.

Proverbs 10.9 declares; “He [or she] who walks with integrity walks securely, but he [or she] who perverts his [or her] ways will become known.” And therefore, Herod Antipas, like his father before him, became known as the son of a murdering father and a murderer himself. Therefore, like father, like son!

According to Jesus in Matthew 12.35; “A good man [or a good woman] out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things, and an evil man [or woman] out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” What is it that we are bringing forth from our lives? Are we bringing forth evil fruit or good fruit?

According to the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 5.6; “A little leaven [that which represents sin in our lives] leavens [or spoils] the whole lump [or the whole individual].” Are our lives influencing others towards good or towards evil? Is our presence among others spoiling or preserving?

Something More To Consider:
Herod Antipas feared John the Baptist, knowing he was a just and holy man of God, and therefore protected John from his illegitimate wife Herodias who desired to kill John. Even though Herod Antipas was the son of a murdering father, there was a slight glimmer of hope, in that he gladly heard John. Even in the midst of all that evil upbringing, Herod was willing to listen to John!

There was something about John the Baptist that caused Herod to want to keep him alive. And yet, in the end, the sin that ruled over his father’s life, proved more powerful in his own life and also proved the old saying true, as in so many cases since then, “Like father, like son!” What sin is ruling over our lives as we approach these end times?

Again, according to Jesus, in John 8.34-35; “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave [of sin] does not abide in the house forever, but a son [or daughter] abides forever.” According to the Word of God, and Romans 3.23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

From birth we have inherited a sin nature, whether we are guilty of murdering anyone or not. The Old Testament law stated, “You shall not murder.” But Jesus took the law one step further by declaring in Matthew 5.22; “But I say to you that whoever is angry [present tense angry] with his [or her] brother [or sister] without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment [of God].”

A Few Final Words:
Therefore, would we be found innocent or guilty of murder today by Jesus due to our harboring present tense anger toward anyone? Worse, if found guilty of murder due to any present tense anger towards another, will we seek the forgiveness necessary to restore us to the favor of our Almighty God? And if not, is it worth our experiencing the eternal judgment of God?

Yes, it is true, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” And yes. It is also true, “For the wages [or eternal reward] of sin is death [eternal death] but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And this gift of eternal life in Christ is only made available in and through our repentance and in and through our turning away from sin and turning toward the cross of Jesus Christ!

And there at the foot of the cross, the ground is level and we all come by way of true repentance of our sin. Therefore, what will be our legacy? Due to unforgiven anger and decades of other unforgiven sins, will we join ranks with Herod the Great, Herod Antipas, Herodias, and her daughter, and billions of other human beings who have chosen and will choose to remain sinners without the offered but rejected forgiveness of God in and through Jesus and His atonement for sin?

Will we be branded as the son or daughter of a murdering father, Satan, the father of lies? Or will we become through our personal repentance of our sin, a son or daughter of our gracious Father in heaven and like Jesus our most considerate Savior, full of grace and full of truth due to our present tense confession of our sin? What will be our testimony for God? Will we bear good or evil fruit from our lives?

Speaking the truth of the Word of God has imprisoned many righteous individuals in prisons built by men. But, the same truth of the Word of God has set countless more eternally free from the bondage of sin. What will be our decision?

In Closing This Sunday June 14, 2020:
We have watched the takeover of six city blocks in the liberal run city of Seattle. What are our governmental so-called leaders thinking in allowing renegades disguised as protesters to act as if there is no law and order in our country? It is because that is the level in which we as a society have fallen.

Do not for a minute believe that this evil lawless behavior will not spread beyond Seattle. The enemy of all that is good and godly is continuing his testing of the citizens of this once great and godly nation just as he did with covid-19. Without Christ in our lives men, women, and young people will choose to do evil at every opportunity.

According to Genesis 6.5-6; “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent [thought] of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man [the human race] on the earth, and He [God] was grieved.” He was grieved to the point that He destroyed the many evil earthly occupants with a flood and made a way of escaping the wrath and judgment of God for the few righteous.

Will we be found among the many evil or among the few righteous? Will we be found following after our murdering father Satan or following after our loving heavenly Father who awaits our seeking His forgiveness through our sincere repentance? The end times are upon us! Let not our hearts be troubled. But let us not be deceived by all of the misdirection that is taking place in the world today. We have little precious time left! 

Prayer
Our Father in heaven, may the wages of our past sins be washed away by the forgiveness provided through the precious blood of Jesus and our willingness to truly repent of our sins. In Him Always, Amen!

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