Today you’re going to hear from our guest blogger, Ashby Kidd. We love her insight on today’s chapters and we think you will too:
I love when Jesus hangs out with his disciples. Look at chapter 13 verse 11: “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom…” He cares for his disciples, and us, enough to share the truth over and over, until we really get it. The kingdom is not like we think it is. Hold onto that thought, and keep reading.
Look at the contrast of the first two stories in chapter 14. (Full disclosure: I heard this idea in a sermon last year, and it stuck with me.) Let’s call this “A Tale of Two Dinner Parties.”
Herod throws a huge celebration for his birthday. Drinking, dancing- this was the party of the year. And as a grand finale, a head on a platter. Herod agrees to have John the Baptist beheaded, because he’s afraid to back down in front of his friends. Look at verse 9. Come ON. Drinking, dancing, and foolish promises? Not my idea of a good time, but it was the kind of thing you would hope to be invited to- dinner with the king? Dinner with the king, and a murder? Somehow the party of the year went horribly, horribly wrong.
Immediately following the news that his cousin has been murdered, Jesus went away by himself. And everyone followed him. Poor Jesus. He never gets a break. (And here I am feeling sorry for myself because my toddler follows me into the bathroom.) Instead of getting to mourn, pray, or just relax, Jesus gets another ministry opportunity. Does he get angry? No. In verse 14 it says he had compassion on the crowds, and then he heals them. In Mark it says he taught them as well. And then at the end of the day, he feeds them.
No silver platters, no wine goblets, no dancing. No ‘who’s who’ on the guest list. Seated on the grass, picnic style, eating the simplest of meals. The kingdom is not like we think it is.
One dinner was ornate, impressive, and ended in death. The other dinner was simple, casual, and from the giver of life.
Which dinner would you choose? It seems like an easy answer, but we make this choice every day.
Which kingdom are you pining after?