Thursday, April 8, 2010


Text: Mark 6:16-28 


I love foreign words.If you're wondering what's the meaning of ypóschesi (trying to figure out how to pronounce it?...i don't know how to pronounce it either :)) but it means "PROMISE" in Greek word.

Have you promised something to someone and you thought that the promise you've made would not affect you and somebody you care about? 

I believe all of us are guilty of promising something to someone that affected us and somebody we care about.

There are times that we make some promises without thinking it through much or maybe sometimes we are just careless about our words or maybe there are few times that we are just tired of using our mind or  we just don't realize that the promises we make would have a great impact not just to us but to someone we care about.

In my text today (if you have a Bible at home or you have an access to biblegateway, you could just click the link below this post and read it from there), you could read there that King Herod made a promise that really affected not just himself but somebody whom he honored..somebody whom he protected...somebody whom he liked to listen to....and that somebody was John the Baptist.

Although Herod was the "brain" of John the Baptist's imprisonment, he feared of killing him. Verses 18-20 say, "For John had been saying to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." So Herodias (Hereod's wife) nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him." 

But during his birthday, he made a careless promise to his daughter because he was pleased with her dance number. He said, "Ask me for anything you want, and I'll give it to you." And he promised her with an oath, "Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom."(Mark 6:22-23)

Ooopps...that was his carelessness. Herod didn't know that it would affect him and someone else. Little did he know that his daughter would ask her mother what request she would make. And since her mother was nursing a grudge against John the Baptist (verse 19),she answered her daughter immediately, "The head of John the Baptist." (verse 24).

In verse 25, it says "At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: "I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter." 

"Oh nooo!", i guess that was King Herod's silent reaction in addition to his distress. Yes he was distressed about it.  Not just he was distressed but the Bible says, "The king was greatly distressed (verse 26).

But, even though he was greatly distressed, he still didn't refuse the girl's request.

The following verses would tell you what was the next scene in that birthday wasn't a party anymore but it turned out to be a "funeral party ". 

Verse 26 say-29 say, "..but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her.So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John's head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. On hearing of this, John's disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb."

I believe Herod was greatly distressed for what had happened not just on that day but throughout his lifetime...if he was a Filipino, he would have said "sana hindi na lang ako pinanganak...malas naman ng araw ng kapanganakan ko"...sorry for those who don't understand Tagalog :) . You might need an interpreter for that...hahaha..(but seriously,i don't wanna add to what the Bible said, it's just that when we do something that causes us guilt, it remains there unless we ask forgiveness from God and he only can remove that guilt).

Promising something to someone? Think it through first. It may cause you distress or your life or someone else's life. Be careful. Use your brain as our Pastor would always remind us.

Actually, what happened to Herod was not just a simple promise,it was with an oath...i believe it's deeper than a promise but even if it was with an oath, he could have refused to have John the Baptist beheaded. He was just pressured because there were guests and it was his promise to his daughter (verse 26).

The book of proverbs has to say about that situation, i mean, if we were trapped by what we promised. Read  Proverbs 6:1-5:

1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
       if you have struck hands in pledge for another,
 2 if you have been trapped by what you said,
       ensnared by the words of your mouth,
 3 then do this, my son, to free yourself,
       since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands:
       Go and humble yourself;
       press your plea with your neighbor!
 4 Allow no sleep to your eyes,
       no slumber to your eyelids.
 5 Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
       like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

The Message Translation is clearer:

Dear friend, if you've gone into hock with your neighbor or locked yourself into a deal with a stranger,If you've impulsively promised the shirt off your back  and now find yourself shivering out in the cold, Friend, don't waste a minute, get yourself out of that mess.   You're in that man's clutches!Go, put on a long face; act desperate.Don't procrastinate— there's no time to lose.Run like a deer from the hunter, fly like a bird from the trapper!

ypóschesi? pistév̱o̱ óti mésa apó. Ah what? Are we talking about tables and grandchildren here now? Hahaha..that only means..."Promise? ....think it through."


Copyright © 2010 by Mari Ann Rose "Mariah" F. Gadapan . All rights reserved worldwide. 


Past Achievements Versus Present Challenges

Text: 1 Samuel 17: 32-51 New Living Translations 32  “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!” 33  “D...