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20: Jesus Despised and John Beheaded (Mt 13:54-14:12)
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20: Jesus Despised and John Beheaded (Mt 13:54-14:12)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

Jesus’ name had spread throughout Galilee and had even reached the ears of Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee and Perea. But the people of His own town despised and rejected Him. When Herod heard about Jesus’ great power, he believed that Jesus was John risen from the dead. Herod, an instrument of evil, not only killed John the Baptist but also later plotted to kill Jesus (Lk 13:31).

B.     Key Verse

            “Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief” (13:58).

C.     Did You Know…?

1.       Herod the Tetrarch (14:1) bore the distinctive name of Antipas. He was Herod’s younger son by Malthace, and inherited the Galilaean and Perean portions of his father’s kingdom…He was the ablest of Herod’s sons, and like his father was a great builder; the city of Tiberias on the Lake of Galilee was built by him (ad 22) and named in honor of the Emperor Tiberius. He married the daughter of the Nabataean king Aretas IV (q.v.), but divorced her in order to marry Herodias (q.v.), the wife of his half-brother Herod Philip. 7/522

2.       Herodias (14:3) was married to Herod Philip (not Philip the tetrarch, Luke 3:1), son of Herod the Great and Mariamme II…and therefore half-brother to Herod Antipas…Herodias was not only Antipas’ sister in-law but also his niece, the daughter of his half-brother Aristobulus. 6/338

3.       God’s law forbids marrying one’s brothers’ wife (Lev 18:16; 20:21).

4.       The daughter of Herodias (14:6): Herodias’ daughter by her former marriage, Salome, a girl between twelve and fourteen years of age…The dance may have been very sensual, but the text does not say so. The outrageous morals of the Herodians suggest it, as does the low status of dancing girls. 6/338

II.    Observation

A.     Outline







B.     Key Words/Phrases

III. Segment Analysis

A.     13:54-58

1a. Why were the people of Jesus’ town offended at Jesus?

1b. In what ways are many people of today also offended at Jesus?

1c. Is your faith in the Lord sometimes weakened because you think you know Him too well?

1d. How do we sometimes make the same mistake in our judgment of others?

2a. How did the people of Jesus’ town show their lack of faith?

2b. Why is faith necessary in order for the Lord to work in our lives (58)?

B.     14:1-12

3. Imagine how Herod must have felt when he commented that Jesus was John the Baptist risen from the dead. Do you think he sincerely wanted to believe in Jesus? Explain.

4a. What does this passage tell you about Herod’s character?

4b. Do you see some of his character in yourself? What can you do about it?

5a. Why did Herod want to kill John? Why is it that people who live in sin, such as Herod and Herodias, want to remove a righteous man such as John?

5b. How does Herod’s and Herodias’ attitude reflect the heart of many people who do not want to accept the gospel or even slander it?

6. What mistake did Herod make that led to John’s tragic death? What does it teach us?

7. How is John an example for us in his sufferings and death?

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