What Jesus Did! 'Peer Fear' — Matthew 14:1-5

Sunday, July 9, 2017

At that time Herod, the ruler {of Galilee}, heard the things people said about Jesus. So Herod said to his servants, "This man (Jesus) is really John the Baptizer. He must have risen from death. That is why he is able to do these miracles." Before this time, Herod had arrested John. Herod had tied John with chains and put him into prison. Herod arrested John because of Herodias. Herodias was the wife of Philip, Herod's brother. Herod arrested John because John told Herod: "It is not right for you to have Herodias." Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people. The people believed that John was a prophet.
— Matthew 14:1-5 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 14:1-5 NLT — "This man (Jesus) is really John the Baptizer. He must have risen from death. That is why he is able to do these miracles."   ——   "It is not right for you to have Herodias."

Key Thought

We sometimes talk about peer pressure and its power over teenagers. But if we look at ourselves, I think we'll find that adults are at least as vulnerable to peer pressure as teenagers. Just look at how we fall into line with fashion clothing, cologne, cars, neighborhoods, political opinions, morals, and hairstyles. Even our leaders seem to check which way the wind is blowing and gather the latest poll data before they will announce their opinions on any given subject. Herod reveals his fear and weakness. He is afraid John is risen. He is afraid of John because he told the truth. He is afraid of John because of his adulterous relationship with his brother's wife and John's willingness to speak the truth—this was also an incestuous relationship according to the Jewish law. He is afraid to kill John because of the people's fascination with John. Herod is not a statesman ruler; he's a fearing reactor to political winds. We, too, forfeit our right to be called people of integrity when we cave in to the pressure of those around us and abdicate our values, principles, and beliefs to avoid scrutiny. No matter what accomplishments we may achieve, they are worthless because they are never enough since we fear losing recognition for them, losing the support of others, and losing the notoriety of our achievement.

Today's Prayer

Holy God and Divine Father, forgive me for the times that I have backed down from my convictions because of peer pressure. Give me the Spirit of power and boldness to not only stand for you when it is easy, but also when it is difficult. Help me be a person of proven integrity and faithfulness. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 2 Timothy 1:6-10
  • Mark 8:34-38
  • Romans 1:16


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.

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.