• Politics & Religion (Matthew 14.1-12)

    Herod was interested in Approval Ratings

    Herod Antipas is one of history’s truly tragic figures.

    John was interested in the Applause of Heaven

    John is not remembered so much for how he died, but for how he lived.

    It Is Human Nature to Desire the Approval of Others

    But if you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. It’s better to aim to please God above all others — and let the approval of men grow strangely dim.
    “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 16.33)

    Four Approval Ratings Herod Should Have Ignored

    The approval of the crowd (Incredibly two-faced)
    “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3.2)

    The approval of the authorities (Primarily purpose is to restrain evil, not promote righteousness)
    “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil.” (Romans 13.3a)

    The approval of his lover (Blindingly persuasive)
    “But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the Lord, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up.” (1 Kings 21.25)

    The approval of himself (Woefully short-sighted)
    “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 16.25)

    Disclaimer: The Applause of Heaven Usually Comes with a Price

    “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”  (John 15.18)

    Whose Applause Do You Seek?

    In the end, John was remembered by his own with tenderness and bold compassion.
    Even in death—as much as in life—he led people to Jesus.
    “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)


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