Your Friend Got Beheaded

  • Your friend got Beheaded READ Matthew 14:1-12
  • Herod the tetrarch wasn’t a king, he was an underruler- and he put John the Baptist in prison because herodias wanted him there because John had called her out in her sin. Herodias and Herod had both divorced their spouses to create a power-couple to rule and the jewish people thought it was sinful
  • John the Baptist was a leader among these people and told her that it was sin-
  • The political move was to imprison him- but that wasn’t enough- at this party, she dances before the tetrarch and he says “whatever you want” and she says “head on a platter”
  • Horrible. She wants full knowledge that he’s fully dead- that there would be no remembrance
  • A few points to make from this- one- you can destroy everything about the memory of your sin, but you can’t fix your mind without Christ- second- Watch what words you have to back up (he was sorry)
  • But as I was reading this over and over- I was looking for what the Lord wanted- what to preach
  • What do we do with this story? Whats the spiritual implications of it? What should we do?
  • Here’s John the Baptist- the herald of Christ- called us to repentance, baptized Jesus- beheaded
  • It’s a gruesome macabre story. We read it so quickly, and miss the sadness of the story
  • What do we do with it? I’ve never been in that kind of situation- I have never experienced it
  • But I have experienced pain. I’ve experienced loss. Trauma. Sickness. Loneliness. Sin.
  • And you look at that story- and you wonder what to do with it- how to grow from it
  • Praise God- we have the example of Jesus- BC Jesus knew John. Loved him, had to deal with it.
  • What did Jesus do? Lets read Matthew 14:13-21 and then we can see what WE should do when we experience horrible things in our own lives.
  1. He went and spent time alone v13
  2. Jesus was 100% God and 100% Man. That means he felt emotions. I’m going to conjecture that Jesus must have felt something when they told him that John was beheaded. Something. Had to affect him
  3. What did he do? 13 When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities.
  4. The initial response of Jesus was to leave from where he was, and go and be alone.
  5. This was his custom- this is what Jesus did often Matthew 14:23 says he- “went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.”
  6. Jesus didn’t have a problem with being alone. In fact he sought after it- he knew the power from solitude. Being alone with God was the response and inspiration of Jesus to do ministry!
  7. He lived it- and he taught it Matthew 6:6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
  8. Jesus knew that being alone meant being alone with God- and being alone with God is a powerful thing
  9. He had just witnessed the beheading (not physically- but you get it) of John and his response?
  10. Get alone. Get with God. Pray. Solitude.
  11. Here’s what Jesus knew- Isaiah 65:24 “It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.
  12. When you get alone with God- things happen. It changes the atmosphere. It changes something about you. You are able to see a bit more clearer what is going on around you- Jesus knew where his power came from.
  13. Many people who claim to be Christian never spend a moment alone with God-
  14. Are you stronger than Jesus? You think you can make it without alone time?
  15. Luke 5:16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
  16. Mark 1:35 Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
  17. If that’s what Jesus did- that’s what you should do- get alone
  18. I get it- its not easy- but its more important now than its ever been and HARDER than ever as well
  19. Phones, TV, Social media, family, all of that. You have to create distance from people
  20. Elijah did to raise the Shunammite woman son from the dead
  21. 2 Kings 4:33 He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord.
  22. Peter did it to raise Tabitha from the dead- Acts 9:40 But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.
  23. The Bible way is to separate and press in.
  24. Lamentations 3:28 Let him sit alone and keep silent, Because God has laid it on him;
  25. Jeremiah 1:17 I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers, Nor did I rejoice; I sat alone because of Your hand, For You have filled me with indignation.
  26. Psalm 102:7 I lie awake, And am like a sparrow alone on the housetop.
  27. Are you stronger than the Bible people? You think you don’t need it?
  28. I spent many years not reading/praying daily. I’ve been daily spending time with God for over 500 days now and I will tell you that it makes a huge difference. Every day. No matter what.
  29. Acts 10:9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour.
  30. What relationship can you have in your life that you live with someone and choose not to speak to them? None. There’s not one that you can do that to. Relationships require connectiong
  31. Did you know that God sent his son Jesus to bring us into relationship with him? That’s what he intended 2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
  32. This relationship is maintained through alone time- and time in the word. Its vital.
  33. Joshua 1:8-9 READ
  34. So when you find yourself in a situation- something that is affecting you- your first response should be that of Jesus- get alone. Don’t pick up the phone. Don’t go to a person. Don’t reach out on social media
  35. Get alone. Get with God. Get in the word. Start to pray and you’ll connect with God and you’ll hear him.
  36. psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
  37. God will take care of the situation. I know he will, he always does- but YOU need to know it. Get alone!
  • He focused on other people
  • 16 But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
  • Now this scripture doesn’t say that Jesus was emotionally overwhelmed because of what happened to John the Baptist. But to think it didn’t have some sort of impact lessens his humanity. He had to have been somewhat affected by it.
  • But after His disciples told him of this despicable event- we see- He got alone He focused on others. He did not turn outward, until after he turned inward. He built up, and then poured out.
  • Matthew 23:11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.
  • John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
  • Jesus was all about other people- that’s what his life was about- and there wasn’t ANYTHING that was going to keep him from blessing other people
  • In this story- the multitude of people following Jesus probably had some needs, the disciples say, ‘lets tell them to leave’ and Jesus says- no- they are here- lets feed them. Hungry- EAT
  • That was just how Jesus was- healing, saving, feeding, always thinking about others.
  • Even up to his crucifixion “forgive them father” thinking about others
  • It would have been easy for Jesus to go from solitude to deeper solitude, but it was only to build him up to have him come back and bless others- “They do not need to go away” let them stay
  • What does it mean to you?
  • When you go through something- do you look for ways to bless others? Here’s what I’ve noticed in my own life- when I’m overwhelmed, and I don’t let it control me- and I focus on others- my life gets better- the pain and trauma of my life seems to not matter as much.
  • Romans 15:1 We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
  • Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
  • These are scriptures that the bible uses to encourage us to focus on other people
  • A self centered life is just that- self centered- theres nothing good there-
  • And I get it, life can be overwhelming, there’s lot that has happened and does happen to us, but that’s no excuse to get away from the scriptures and use that as an excuse to live for ourselves.
  • Ephesians 5:21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
  • Philippians 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
  • You got your stuff- I get it- but are you looking at others? Are you paying attention?
  • Because if you’re so overwhelmed with whats happening to you, you’ll miss the miracles-
  • romans 12:16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

Here’s the best part-

  • Believe God for the miraculous
  • Jesus got alone- focused on others- and then believed God for the miraculous
  • 18 He said, “Bring them here to Me.” 19 Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes.
  • Jesus, depending on the Father, knew that God would multiply those loaves and fishes and a miracle would happen!
  • Jesus was about miracles! And if he had let what happened to John the Baptist keep him from his ministry- this miracle wouldn’t have happened-
  • Jesus response to a beheading? Lets do some miracles.
  • Mark 16:17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; Mark 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
  • Jesus preached that his disciples should be going out and doing miracles, signs and wonders as they preached the Gospel- gave them power over demons- deliverance.
  • John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
  • What are those greater works? More discipleship, preaching, healing, signs, wonders.
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Do you believe that God still performs miracles today? Do you believe what the word says about it? That’s what the disciples believed and that’s what they did!
  • They prayed that God would use this ministry through them and see people healed!
  • Acts 4:30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
  • Jesus said-
  • Matthew 17:20 Sif you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
  • When peter prayed for a lame man and he began to walk said this-
  • Acts 3:16 And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect hem in thissoundness in the presence of you all.
  • I’ve seen it! I’ve seen tumors removed, bones healed, ligaments, pain, depression, addiction, etc etc. Big huge miracles and wonders that God has done
  • Acts 19:11 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul,
  • Psalm 77:14 You are the God who does wonders;
  • Acts 14:3 granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
  • Hebrews 2:4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
  • 2 Corinthians 12:12 in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:10 READ
  • Working miracles is a gift- but desire it- pray that God would use you in this gift- don’t discard it because there is going to come a time in your life when you are going to need the miraculous
  • 1 Corinthians 12:31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
  • Its funny- the people that seem to think that miracles have ceased never see them, and those that desire them see God move all the time- Pray miracles about EVERTHING- don’t think what if he doesn’t, think what if he DOES

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