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Lesson # Matt. 14:3-5
Study Material - Matt. 14:3-5
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3 For [gar] Herod [Herodes] had laid hold [krateo] on John [Ioannes] , and bound [deo] him [autos] , and [kai] put [tithemi] him in [en] prison [phulake] for [dia] Herodias' [Herodias] sake [dia] , his [autos] brother [adelphos] Philip's [Philippos] wife [gune] .
4 For [gar] John [Ioannes] said [lego] unto him [autos] , It is [exesti] not [ou] lawful [exesti] for thee [soi] to have [echo] her [autos] .
5 And [kai] when he would [thelo] have put [apokteino] him [autos] to death [apokteino] , he feared [phobeo] the multitude [ochlos] , because [hoti] they counted [echo] him [autos] as [hos] a prophet [prophetes] . KJV-Interlinear
3 For when Herod had John arrested, he bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. 4 For John had been saying to him, 'It is not lawful for you to have her.' 5 And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they regarded him as a prophet. NAS
A little over a year earlier, Herod had John arrested. There is every indication in the scriptures that John had accused Herod, on several occasions, of having an illegal marriage to Herodias who was Herods niece. It was an incestuous marriage . Herodias was the daughter of another half brother of Herod, Aristobulus.
Herodias had been married to Philip, yet another half brother of Herod, and while Philip was on a trip to Rome, Herod seduced her away from Philip and they were married. She turned out to be a very conniving woman as she eventually tricked Herod into killing John the Baptist.
Herod had been married to the daughter of Aretas. Aretas ruled a small region south of the Dead Sea, whose capital was Petra. The marriage was a political one and when Herod divorced Aretas's daughter, to marry Herodias, the king Aretas became so angry because of the treatment his daughter received, that he destroyed most of Herods army He was only stopped by the Roman's who intervened.
John had encounter both Herod and his illegal wife, Herodias. Since John was not much for diplomacy, his words caused anger to stir in both of the Herods. The wife was all for killing John, but Herod was more in tuned with the politics of the region and left John alone - for a while. Eventually John as arrested (due to pressure from the wife - implied) and thrown into prison. There he remained for about a year.
John was popular among the general population. His message was a simple one - the Kingdom of God was at hand. He preached the gospel and baptized many who came to see him out in the desert. John was not a presumptuous man. He lived a humble life, a simple life. He knew his mission in life from an early age, probably through learning it from his dad, to whom the angel spoke. Jesus has even stated that John was the greatest person who has ever lived, Matt. 11:11. So if you ever wondered who the greatest is, then now you know - John the Baptist. John was not inordinately ambitious. He knew his purpose in life and he pursued that purpose. John remained faithful to God throughout his life and even to his death from a prison cell. He was never depressed with his life. He never doubted his life. His only doubt was that Jesus was or was not the Messiah, and to that Jesus answered him with the doctrine he already knew. John was assured.
John did not raise a great army. John did not rule a great nation. John did not have great numbers of accomplishments from the earthly perspective. He only looked to God and to his spiritual life. He was not irresponsible in life but fulfilled the intended purpose for himself as God had designed his life.
So too, you and I have intended purposes in life. We are not going to go to the desert and begin preaching to the stars, but we do have our responsibilities in life. The first one is to respond to God and learn His Word and to grow up. The second set of responsibilities is to function in life as we are intended to, but within the sphere of our spiritual growth. To some this means changing diapers. To others this means inventing rockets, and then for the rest of us, there is a vast array of purposes in between.
Live your life to the fullest, but responsibly. God does not limit us in choices in life. Actually life within the spiritual realm brings more choices to the believer, than life outside of the spiritual realm. Life's greatest accomplishments are not what you accomplish in the physical world, but what you accomplish within your soul. Take care of the soul first and God will take care of all the rest 'for you.'
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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