She got into her car after being at the mall, and a tree fell on her car and killed her. What? Such a random way to die! Our Bible verse today seems pretty random too. John the Baptist had been in prison for a while. Even though he preached against what the king had done in marrying his brother’s wife, the king liked hearing him preach. So King Herod kept John the Baptist around. However, one day, someone asked to have John killed. Yet the Bible says, “And although the king was very sorry, yet because of his oaths and because of his dinner guests, he was unwilling to refuse her” (Mark 6:26).
Mark 6:27-28 NASB
“Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded him to bring back his head. And he went and had him beheaded in the prison, and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.”
The girl’s dance pleased the king and the king’s guests. The king did what any king would do, he offered her “up to half the kingdom” as a thank you (Mark 6:23). Not knowing how to answer that question for herself, she asked for John the Baptist’s head on a platter, at her mother’s suggestion. Then just like that, John the Baptist was killed. Sure, the king liked John, but he felt constrained to keep his oath to the girl—especially in front of all these people! Sorry John! What? Every time I read this story in the Bible it seems so random!
We know the end of the story and the awesome legacy John the Baptist left preparing the way for Jesus. We know about the miracle of his mother getting pregnant in her old age. We know how awesome Jesus’ ministry was and how crucial it was to have John the Baptist prepare the way beforehand. But for John, I’m sure it didn’t seem so grand at the time. Did he suddenly feel as if his sole purpose in life was to please Herod’s dinner guests? Forget all those baptisms. Forget preparing the way for the Savior of the world. Your head is about to be paraded about at a wealthy man’s dinner party. What? It didn’t make sense. It seemed random. We’ll look at this more tomorrow, but for now, let’s pray to trust God even when life seems random or not fair. Let’s trust that He’s Sovereign even when we don’t understand.
This is an excerpt taken from my upcoming book.