Commentary on Matthew 14: Lessons on the death of John the Baptist

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  1. The gospel of Saint Matthew introduced us to the Herods – the first Herod is the king of Judea who sought to kill Jesus (Matthew 2); and the second Herod is Tetrach who ordered the murder of John the Baptist (Matthew 14).
  2. Jesus escaped death in the hands of the Herod the king of Judea, but John the Baptist died in the hands of Herod, the tetrarch.

 

  1. Herod, King of Judea that sought to kill Jesus died but the second Herod, the tetrach succeeded in killing John the Baptist.
  2. Why did Jesus survive Herod the king of Judea, but John the Baptist did not survive Herod the Tetrach?
  3. John the Baptist was a prophet, evangelist, missionary, an epitome of humility, and was recorded as teaching his disciples on how to pray (see Luke 11 vs. 11)

 

  1. John the Baptist was a bible teacher and fearless teacher, but there is no record that he was a prayer warrior.
  2. John the Baptist taught his disciples how to pray, but the Bible did not record a single incident of how he actually prayed.

 

  1. Jesus was recorded as having prayed at night, at gethesame, at midnight, on the mountain, and even when his killers were approaching Jesus was at the altar of prayers. The Bible is, however, silent on the prayer life of John the Baptist.
  2. It was prophesized that John would be filled with ‘spirit and power of Elijah’ (Luke 1 vs, 16-17); John the Baptist manifested this power in the missionary field, but not against the enemies of his soul. Unlike Elijah who ordered that 850 prophets of Baal and Jezebel who challenged his ministry, should be slew at the brook of Kishon, John the Baptist allowed himself to be beheaded by his enemies.

 

  1. Elijah, faced with death, commanded the fire of God to consumed two troops of 102 soldiers that came to arrest him (2 Kings 1), whereas John the Baptist allowed himself to be assassinated to suit the wishes of an adulterous woman and her dancing daughter.
  2. Samson in a similar situation, did not allow himself to be killed cheaply by His enemies. He refused to go to the grave alone, even when there was no escape road for him. Samson at the point of death in the hands of Delilah and her Philistines conspirators, prayed to God to avenge his would be assassinators; God granted his prayer and three thousand people died with him. (see Judges 16 vs. 23-31); In the contrary, John the Baptist did not raise a finger against his killers.

 

  1. John the Baptist was too gentle to a fault. He was too humble even to the point of death. He allowed the messengers of death to catch up with him and kill him cheaply.
  2. Without prejudice to his greatness, humility, and virtue, John the Baptist in a way symbolizes the present generation of Christians and church leaders. We have many great Evangelists around, we have powerful preachers of the word around, we have many righteous and meek Christians around, but tragically we have very few praying Christians around. Most Christians or Pastors can teach or preach the Bible for many hours, but only few Christians or Pastors can pray without ceasing for even one hour!

 

  1. We have a lot of dancing, entertaining and dramatizing Christians and Churches around, but very few praying Christians or Churches.
  2. It was because of tragedy that befell John the Baptist that Jesus gave an instruction in Matthew 11 vs. 12 that every Christian must become spiritually violent; and henceforth, no Christian should allow his life to be wasted by the enemy, no Christian should allow the kingdom of hell to rejoice over his death, no Christian should allow himself to die in the hands of the enemy, no Christian should allow the messengers of death to kill him cheaply; no Christian should allow his destiny to be wasted, and no Christian should allow his soul to be harvested by harvest destroyers.

 

  1. Apostle James expatiated this further in James 4 vs. 7 when he called on Christians to resist the devil with the weapons of warfare, pointing out that the devil is a coward, and will surely run away once he feels spiritual heat.
  2. May we not die in the hands of the enemies and may our enemies never rejoice over our death, may our souls not be harvested by the enemy in Jesus name.

 

 

 

 

Babatope Babalobi: + 2348035897435 babalobi@yahoo.com

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