Thursday: 29th August, 2019

Mark 6:21 An opportunity came during Herod’s birthday celebration, when he gave a banquet for his top officials, military officers, and the most important people of Galilee.

Receiving an invitation to an event can be a sign of great honour for some of these invitations are deemed ‘exclusive’. However, the guest list for a wedding or birthday is one that could be either very exclusive or open to many. A brief look at Herod’s guest list would tell us the kind of company he kept- top officials, military commanders and other big shots in the city.

It is therefore no surprise that in their presence, he dares to make the promise of half his kingdom to the daughter of Herodias after her dance. In truth, he cut his coat according to his cloth because in the very least, he had the means and resources to give what he had promised. The only problem was the amount of influence his audience may have had on his words.

So I was just wondering:
Had he found himself in ‘lowlier’ company, would his words have been any different?
What was the likeliest attitude of this audience after his oath? Were they cheering him on for showing off or would they have been concerned at his boasting and its probable cost?
That’s just me wondering but the truth is he had to keep up appearances to match the expectation of those around him even when his heart was not at ease.

Herod would have loved to keep John safe, but for his oath. My dear, to meet the expectations of others, we may find ourselves in positions that challenge our own personal beliefs. The question is which will prevail: meeting those expectations or holding fast to what we believe?


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