Mark 6:14-16: Easter Faith
14 King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying,‘John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.’ 15 Others said, ‘He is Elijah.’ And still others claimed, ‘He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.’ 16 But when Herod heard this, he said, ‘John, whom I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!’
‘’Better the dungeon with John than the palace with Herod, for conscience filled the palace with the ghost of the murdered Baptist!’’ F.B. Meyer: ‘Devotional Commentary,’p.423.
These words in Mark 6 show that Jesus was creating a stir. He was arousing curiosity. I guess we already know this, but it’s underlined here. A debate was sparked as to His identity. There was something about Jesus which defied natural, human explanation. (It may help to know that there was a Jewish expectation that Elijah – who had not died – would return before the end of time, to prepare things for the day of judgment. In the Old Testament, many miracles surrounded the ministries of Elijah and Elisha).
‘’Who is Jesus?’’ remains the great question of life and we must answer it: If we are wrong about Him, we will be wrong everywhere else.
Just now, on radio five live, I heard part of an interview with a singing star. The interviewer said to him, ‘’You’ve been described as a militant atheist. Would you agree with this?’’ He replied, ‘’I’d say I’m a bomb-throwing atheist.’’ I think that meant something even stronger! But I wonder if that man has ever taken a long hard look at Jesus. It is, I believe, a rarity, for an adult to have an open, honest look at Christ and remain unconverted. There is an irony in Herod’s words, of course. John the Baptist did not rise from the dead, but Jesus Himself was to come back from death. The evidence for His resurrection is compelling, but do we have the courage to examine it as part of a long, hard look at Jesus? Some people would rather just throw bombs at the evidence than face it.