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Lesson 20
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Lesson 20

I.       Observation

A.     Outline

Rejected by His Own People (13:54-58)

Herod’s Understanding of Jesus (14:1-2)

Death of John the Baptist (14:3-12)

Imprisoning John and intention to kill him (3-5)

John beheaded by the request of Herodias’ daughter (6-11)

Burial of John’s body and report to Jesus (12)

B.     Key Words/Phrases

His own, astonished, wisdom, mighty works, offended, feared.

II.    Segment Analysis

1a. They only looked at Jesus’ humble origin and common background. They thought they knew Jesus, but they didn’t truly know Him. Instead of believing Jesus because of His wisdom and great power, they were blinded by their false expectation that a true prophet must come from an extraordinary background (cf. 11:1-6).

1c. Sometimes we take pride in the fact that we are zealous Christians, and that we know the Bible all too well and are close to the Lord. We may think that we have heard it all and seen it all. In our presumption, we may not pay as much attention to the admonitions and teachings of the Bible or have the eager desire to know him more (cf. Eph 1:17).

2a. They did not believe him to be the Messiah nor honor him as Lord.

2b. It would be of little value for the Lord to work in those who do not believe in him. All of God’s works, including miracles, become only spectacles if we do not receive them with faith. Miracles and signs help to strengthen our faith, but it is true faith in the Lord that saves. See Lesson 13, question 5.

3. He was probably in great fear. Perhaps he was afraid of retaliation or potential woe that might befall him because of his sinful act.

4a. He was a timid man. He always cared about what others think of him and tried to please everyone (3,5,9). He was also afraid to change himself even though he knew what he did was wrong.

4b. To overcome the weakness of trying to please everyone even when we know that doing so would involve a wrongful act, we must first realize that we have to ultimately answer to God, not to men (1Cor 4:3-5).

5a. Herod was living in sin. Instead of repenting and changing his ways, he and Herodias wanted to kill John so as to remove their feeling of guilt.

5b. People hate the light because their deeds are evil (Jn 3:19,20). Many people today refuse to come to Christ not because they do not understand the truth, but that they are unwilling to acknowledge their sin and leave their lives of sin.

6. In his pleasure, he made a hasty promise which he later regretted. Too much pleasure can take away our sobriety and make us unfit to make wise judgments (Prov 31:3,4; Eph 5:18; Lk 21:34). We must also be careful not to make vows too hastily or speak proud words when things are smooth; we may regret the consequences.

7. John the Baptist suffered and died for righteousness’ sake (cf. 5:11,12). He was a man of courage who pointed out the wrongs of Herod even though he knew that Herod was a cruel ruler. As we preach the truth for Christ, we will often offend those who live in sin. But for the sake of accomplishing God’s will and out of our love for others, we must continue to stand up against wickedness and speak for the Lord.

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