What Jesus Did! 'Shameful' — Mark 6:21-26

Monday, April 13, 2020

Herodias's chance [for vengeance against John] finally came on Herod's birthday. He gave a party for his high government officials, army officers, and the leading citizens of Galilee. Then his daughter, also named Herodias, came in and performed a dance that greatly pleased Herod and his guests. "Ask me for anything you like," the king said to the girl, "and I will give it to you." He even vowed, "I will give you whatever you ask, up to half my kingdom!"

She went out and asked her mother, "What should I ask for?"

Her mother told her, "Ask for the head of John the Baptist!"

So the girl hurried back to the king and told him, "I want the head of John the Baptist, right now, on a tray!"

Then the king deeply regretted what he had said; but because of the vows he had made in front of his guests, he couldn't refuse her.

— Mark 6:21-26 NLT

Key Thought

This horrible story is a reminder that God's people often face direct opposition from those in power. Proclaiming truth does not always lead to pleasant short-term results for God's truth-telling people. John lost his life because of the unscrupulous desires of an immoral Herodias and the political cowardice of Herod — who added incest to his adultery by taking Herodias (his half-brother's wife and the daughter of another half-brother) as his own wife. Shamefulness and blatant sin hate truth-telling and will do whatever is necessary to hide the truth, including sometimes killing the truth-teller. So we shouldn't be surprised in our day when the truth is not desired and is often opposed by those who choose the way of immorality. Let's pray for truth-tellers! Let's ask God to make their influence felt and for their lives not to be lived in vain!

Today's Prayer

O God, please protect and empower your truth-tellers. Make their voices effective. Keep their enemies from silencing them. When their ministry is complete, please bring them home to you with great joy. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 3:16-21
  • John 15:20-21
  • Matthew 5:43-48


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Illustration of Mark 6:21-26 NLT — "I want the head of John the Baptist, right now, on a tray!"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.