“Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.”
The account of this guy, Herod, make him sound like someone you want to invite over to watch the big game. In fact, we have a pretty reliable account of his person in Josephus, a contemporary historian living in Palestine at that time. If any difference can be noted, it is that the Gospels take it easy on Herod. Incest is just the tip of the iceberg with this guy.
So with such a character on the throne, why does John even bother? Coming to tell him his behavior is morally wrong is like sitting down to a chessboard already positioned in checkmate. John knows full well the outcome before he even steps through Herod’s door. So why? Grace.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
God is highly wasteful with His grace. He doesn’t wait for us to clean up and get ready. In grace, He speaks to us before we are ready to hear and believe. This doesn’t always get through to us. But it is good. Like the journeyman drywaller who plans for at least 50% waste of his drywall mud, so God anticipates that much His love and grace will go unreciprocated. And calls that good.
Sometimes as a disciple matures, they think they outgrow this transaction. To be sure, as we grow in faith, we open our eyes to the height and depth and width of what God does for us in love and grace. But we still miss a lot. We are still the beneficiaries of His grace. It is not as though we can mature out of that kind of relationship. So, what has God done for you lately that you haven’t even noticed? Thank Him for that.
Lord, open my eyes. Take the stoppers out of my ears.