What crazy crowd-pleasing stunt are you notorious for? (Retell your story with relish!)
As one person reads Mark 6: 14-29 listen to the different voices in this story and what might be behind them.
John the Baptizer called people to repentance for the forgiveness of sin and preparation for the coming of the Messiah. In his diet, clothing, and outdoor lifestyle, John identified with the poor and as a prophet in the spirit and power of Elijah. He was renowned for speaking truth to power, especially Herod Antipas, who ruled Galilee for Rome, from 4 B.C. to A.D. 39. Herod Antipas was married to his brother Philip’s wife Herodias, while that brother was still alive—something against Jewish law (Leviticus 18:16; 20:21). This Herod is son of Herod the Great, the Roman ruler who ordered the slaughter of babies at the time Jesus was born (Matthew 2). So, propensity for violent reaction runs in this family and comes with the position of power and abuse of authority.
Finding My Story in God’s Story
Imagine you were a servant at this event. Retell the story to your family at home, beginning, “You won’t believe what happened at work today.”
Now imagine you were a general in Herod’s army and attending this party, what would you tell your family when you return home?
What do you suppose Herod (a Jew) thought when John called him out for his unlawful marriage to Herodias?
- “I didn’t see that coming.”
- “How dare he call me out in public?”
- “Herodias is not going to like this.”
- “Darn, he’s right about the law.”
- Other ________________________.
Why do you think Herod meets with John, in the first place?
- To improve his street cred, as John was popular with the people.
- As king, he is judge, jury and executioner; any threat had to be eliminated.
- He was puzzled and wanted to hear firsthand what the fuss or buzz was all about.
- His conscience was bothering him with guilt.
- Other _________________________.
In today’s anything-goes-culture, what dance would please a bunch of men at a raucous party?
What was Herod thinking before and after he offered this gift under oath?
- I’ll impress my guests with my generosity.
- After a dance like that, I had to do something equally spectacular.
- I want to show off my power.
- Great distress and regrets
- Other _____________________.
Herod was easily triggered, acted rashly, and had to live with regrets. And you—what tends to trigger you? And what do you do with the regrets you may have?
In what arenas of your life have you used, or abused, authority? Describe a situation where you have seen male power applied in an abusive un-Christlike way. (Do not use names. This could be you.)
Identify your next steps if some John the Baptist-type called you out to act more in line with God’s law.
How can the men in your group help as a check on those emotional triggers or rash decisions that you identified in question #9 and #11?
Now and before the next time your group meets, pray for one another in this regard.