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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


The Child Deserved Better

She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” “The head of John the Baptist,” she answered. 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.” The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. (Mark 6:24-26, NIV)

Herod, ruler of Galilee, was not only a vassal king to Rome. He was a stepfather.

Millions of young people today are growing up in blended homes. The man their mother lives with or is married to is not their real father.

Herodias, the girl’s mother, had been married to Herod’s brother Philip. Herodias had been a willing accomplice with Herod in stepping from one marriage to the other — probably giving little thought to the impact on her daughter. The decisions made by adults do affect children for a lifetime.

There are consequences when a home is broken up through adultery or other sinful behavior. The children suffer. In this case, the daughter of Herodias becomes trapped in a desperate situation when she tries to please both her stepfather by dancing well and her mother by asking for the head of John the Baptist.

Most likely the daughter was young since she did not know what to ask for when Herod gave her a blank check, so she rushes out to ask her mom what to do.

In her desperate desire for parental acceptance, the girl has no moral compass of her own. When her mother said, “Ask for the head of John the Baptist,” the girl does not protest. She doesn’t say, “I could never do that.” Instead she immediately acquiesces to her mother’s desire.

Her parents were adulterers. The girl cannot be faulted for that, but their bad example paved the way for her to become an accomplice in the murder of a great prophet.

The apple seldom falls far from the tree. If you want to raise disturbed children, then violate your marriage covenant.

Herod and Herodias cared only about their own pleasure. Herod wanted his brother’s wife. Herodias wanted to move up the social ladder and leave her husband, Philip. The daughter grew up not learning right from wrong.

We are left to wonder what ultimately happened to this daughter. At some point in time, did she hear the good news about Jesus and become His follower?

We know there was a Manaen — who was brought up with Herod the tetrarch (Acts 13:1) and became a leader in the Antioch church. Did Manaen ever become a friend to this girl? We also know that Joanna, one of the women who followed Jesus and helped provide for Him, was the wife of Cuza, Herod’s administrator (Luke 8:3). Did Joanna have any influence on her?

Did this girl hear the gospel when she grew up — through Manaen or Joanna or some other believer in the first century?

We do know this — Jesus has transformed the lives of countless people who grew up in an evil or dysfunctional family.

Perhaps you grew up in a home that was less than ideal. The good news is this: You don’t have to pass on your parents’ bad example to your children. Jesus will truly transform your life if you let Him!

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, You welcomed children into Your arms. Help me to never harm a child by my actions or attitudes. May I gladly lay down my sin and selfishness for their sake when confronted with choices between my own well-being and that of my children.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

Previous Years

2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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