him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife. For John said unto
him, It is not lawful for you to have her. And when he would have put him to
death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. But when
Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and
pleased Herod. So that he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would
ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John the
Baptist's head on a platter. And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's
sake, and them who sat with him to eat, he commanded it to be given her. And he
sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought on a platter,
and given to the girl: and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came,
and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard
of it, he departed from there by ship into a desert place apart: and when the
people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus
went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward
them, and he healed their sick. And when it was evening, his disciples came to
him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now late; send the
multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves food. But
Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; you give them to eat. And they say
unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them here
to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the
five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and
broke, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that
remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand
men, besides women and children.
There are major differences in the two kings mentioned in this passage. You have Herod king of the Jews, and Jesus Christ, the King of the Jews. Notice the similarities in experiences:
1. Both kings have a loved one who is attacked.
2. Both kings withdraw.
3. Both kings feel an inward longing to satisfy people.
4. Both kings are forced into action that they had withdrawn from doing because of these longings to satisfy.
But, there the similarities end. Herod's sister-in-law Herodias was very important to him. John the Baptist had named their relationship as incestous and adultrous. Herod wanted to kill John for this. He was enraged, yet knew there were limits to what the people might endure. He withdrew his plans to kill John, and left him in prison instead. But, then at his birthday party, he was pleased to see Herodias' lovely daughter dancing for him in front of the crowds. In a desire to give her something, because he was pleased with this show of love, he offered her a gift. She, at the advice of her mother, asked for the head of John the Baptist. Now, Herod was forced to have John executed, because he had promised to give his daughter whatever she asked him.
Jesus' cousin John had laid the ground work for His mission. He had been the forerunner for Jesus. There had been a special bond between their mothers that had been strengthened by giving miraculous births within months of each other. Both births had been foretold by angels. Who knows how the death of John may have crushed Jesus?! The Bible records that Jesus withdrew himself to a desert place to be alone. He needed time to think, to grieve. He didn't seek the solace of friends, but felt He needed a rest. The hungry crowds of sick and hurting people followed Him, wanting so much to just be near Him. Jesus was moved with compassion for their needs and felt a desire to give them of Himself. he healed the sick. Then he fed them with much of nothing. Both of these gifts were performed miraculously with His own hands.
Herod's gift and his withdrawel were motivated by pride and selfishness. Jesus was motivated by love and compassion. They both gave gifts. They were both moved. But, to different ends. What moves you? How are you moved? What action do you take when you are moved? This is what defines you. Our plans are all just that... plans. No one is glorious because they have plans. It is in the mind of all of us to have plans. But, how do you react, or move when the chess pieces around you are moved? This is where you will find out what sort of king you really are.