Matthew 14:10 (He Lost His Head)

He Lost His Head

So John was beheaded in the prison, (Matthew 14:10)

Read: Genesis 42:18-43:34, Matthew 13:47-14:12, Psalm 18:16-36, Proverbs 4:7-10


Relate: What names would come to mind if I were to ask you who was the godliest people of our generation? Who best has modeled integrity, sacrifice, holiness, etc? For me, two names immediately jump to the forefront at that question: Billy Graham and Mother Theresa. A tier below that there stands in my mind Desmond Tutu, Richard Stearns, Leslie Newbigin, Louis Giglio, Francis Schafer, John Piper, Shane Claiborne etc. A quick look and a little thought makes it clear to me that this list is more about famous and influential Christians, not necessarily godly ones. After all, I can only know their public actions and words. I don’t necessarily know how they lived day to day. The thing is, it is in the day to day that true godliness is found. With that thought, I would have to amend my list to include people like my grandmother, dad, and my aunt Judy.

No matter how I build my list, it isn’t good enough. No matter who you might put on yours, it also falls short. John the Baptist beats them all. Jesus said of John that among men born of women, none is greater. He was the forerunner for the advent of God Himself. He was the voice in the wilderness. He was a prophet, the last of the OT prophets, yet more than a prophet. He was the Elijah that was to come. He baptized God.

React: John also lived in poverty. When Herod felt he had gone too far, he gave this great man an extended stay in prison. There John began to doubt his own calling and Jesus’ identity. Finally, he was beheaded on a whim. Clearly, if only he had more faith he wouldn’t have found himself in such difficult situations, right? He must not have believed enough or God would have set him free from that prison, right? He must have done something wrong or he would not have lost his head, right? No, he remained in prison because he refused to back down from the truth. He lost his head because an evil man made a stupid promise in a moment of lust and was too proud to back down from it.

Sometimes evil happens because God allows it that we might be refined as fire. Sometimes it happens because the enemy is attacking us. Sometimes it is the product of our own stupidity or sin. And sometimes it happens it happens because we get caught in the whirlwind of another person using their free will for evil. Some things can’t be “rebuked” away. Praying harder, believing more, and casting out devils won’t help one bit. For whatever reason some things must be endured. And if it’s something we’re going to lose our heads over, at least when we open our eyes on the other side, we will understand why.


God, there is so many questions I don’t have an answer for. Why did John the Baptist, the greatest of men have to die? Why does this world have to be the way it is? Why do so many suffer? Why do I always have to have a reason for everything that happens in life? No matter what questions may arise, help me to never doubt Your goodness. Even in the chaos of this world You are a rock I can stand on. Though little questions may remain, You are the Answer.

9 thoughts on “Matthew 14:10 (He Lost His Head)

  1. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought
    this post was good. I don’t know who you are
    but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;
    ) Cheers!

  2. I was going to say: ‘Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas.’ LOL! If The Christ tells us: ‘The wages of sin is death’ and all people sin. Then all people die somehow. And if I had to choose, beheading is one of the more humane ways to go because it severs all the nerves, so it’s pain free… The only sin we cannot pay for, is denial of God’s existence: ‘The most important thought I’ve ever had, is that of my own responsibility toward God!’ I can’t just recall now who said that, yet I find it appropriate here :O)

  3. love the story on John the Baptist and when I hear Jesus say “even the least one in heaven will be greater than John”, it makes chills go up my spine.

    John the Baptist was a powerful man, what a great example.

  4. Right on! says this child of the 50s/60s. This is relevance, and it poses the question, “Is the Church in America, comprising you and me and millions of others who call themselves Christ-followers, ready to lose our heads rather than back down from the Truth?” Are we better than our brothers and sisters who are doing just that on the other side of the world?

  5. BJ, Thank you for your posts. I’ve noticed believers often cite Mother Teresa as an exemplary Christian. Mother Teresa no doubt did much good for the poor and suffering but several of her statements indicated she did not believe in salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone but believed that people of of all religions could merit Heaven if they followed their faith and were “good.” Being Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, etc. was all fine as long as one was “good.” Is one who believes such things really a Christ-follower? Do we merit Heaven by being “good”? I would appreciate it if you read the entire article below. Given the information that’s presented in the article can you still cite Mother Teresa as an outstanding, exemplary follower of Christ?


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