(May 9, 2015)
Evil’s hatred of good is not rational, despite the protests to the contrary. These chapters have a perfect example of that. Herodias could have had anything (up to half the kingdom), but rather than ask for something to her advantage, she instead asked for the destruction of John the Baptist.
John was imprisoned at this time, and could do little to hurt her. Her motivation was solely revenge. She set aside her own interests out of her hatred for John, and by so doing took his life and destroyed her soul. Revenge, even for a justified slight (which this was not) will do the same thing – it destroys the soul of the one seeking it. I need to remember that as I struggle through this difficult time.
The other thought that I had as I read through these chapters was on how nothing from without could defile a man. I understand the way that Christ was using this parable, but I also believe that it goes beyond that. There is nothing external that can do lasting damage to our souls. It is hard to remember that at times, but when I forget it I end up doing things that truly damage my soul.
External pain and heartache is ever-present. It will make weak Christians weaker and strong Christians stronger. I suppose the question, as I go through this agonizing time, is which am I?