“When Herod heard him he would be very disturbed, yet would hear him gladly.” (Mark 6:20b)
Every Sunday there are people who sit Herod-like through worship services. What they hear in the truth of God’s word disturbs them, but they hear the message gladly because they find it challenging and even helpful and hopeful. It may even encourage them in some ways. But nothing really changes in their lives.
If the message produces no positive change, then the probable reason is that this person has not actually dealt effectively with the sins of pride and arrogance. That was Herod’s problem. He liked John the Baptist and heard him gladly, even though John’s messages disturbed him. But when the opportunity for good and for a change of heart came, Herod’s pride and arrogance, which he had never brought to the Lord in repentance, kicked in and rose to the surface and dictated his actions. Because of his “oaths and his guests” he called for the executioner, and John the Baptist died because of Herod’s pride and arrogance.
Human pride and arrogance is resolved only when we bring it to the Lord in repentance and humility and faith. When we recognize our inability to deal with it in our own strength, and when we bring it face to face with the grace and power of the cross of Jesus, that is the time we experience the change of heart that is fundamental for freeing us from its tentacles. Human pride and arrogance must die on the cross with Jesus. That is the only way to be free from it. Otherwise, people just go through the motions and never experience the real change Christ can bring.
Lord, The joy of freedom that comes from live given to You is priceless, and we thank You for Your indescribable gift. Amen.