I started my first blog post titled BEST Start to 2017. This is the 60th post of Grow in God’s Grace, which I would like to search for the BEST from the contrast of two leaders.
Mark 6 records two drastic events: King Herod’s rash decision to behead John the Baptist at his birthday banquet, and Jesus feeding five thousand plus men with five loaves and two fish. I suppose that high officials, military commanders and the leading men of Galilee came to the birthday banquet with their invitation cards. They enjoyed the feast and entertainment. However, many more people ran on foot voluntarily, without an invite, from all the towns, to meet Jesus, because of his wisdom and deeds.
During the celebration, King Herod was pleased with a girl’s dance and promised to give her anything she wanted. He did not expect that she would ask for the head of John the Baptist. Although it was the wrong decision to execute John the Baptist, Herod did it anyway so that he would not lose face before his guests. Far from Herod’s pride, Jesus had compassion for people. He taught, healed, and fed them. Instead of demanding respect and abusing authority, Jesus led by service to others.
The difference can be life and death! Herod was in a position to give whatever the girl wanted and that led to the death of an innocent person. It was said that Herodias nursed a grudge against John because John confronted King Herod’s wrongdoing of marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife. Jesus was in a position to give and all those who followed him were fed and satisfied.
Sacrificial love is costly. The twelve apostles asked Jesus to send the people away so that they could go to the surrounding countryside and villages and bought something to eat. It would take eight months of a man’s wages to feed all of them, probably the same amount of expense for Herod’s birthday party. Yet, Jesus asked them to give them something to eat. Do you agree that it costs time, energy, and resources to care for others’ needs?
However, when they brought to Him what they had, even as little as five loaves of bread and two fish, Jesus blessed and multiplied the sacrificial offering exponentially to feed thousands. Furthermore, there were enough – twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish – for the twelve apostles. I don’t know if the waiters and servers of Herod’s banquet got to share the food, but I know that God takes care of our needs when we choose to obey Him and use His gifting for us to serve others.
This website address, www.growindiscipleship.com, means Grow in Discipleship. To grow as Jesus’ disciples, we must desire to know His Word, to live by His Word, and to serve others as He has done. The BEST way to live is to serve.