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The Killer Performance

5:57 AM

To impress the already impressed is costly.

Bible Passage: Matthew 14:6-11
6 But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod, 7 so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” 9 And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given. 10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison, 11 and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.

It's the tetrarch's birthday and it's a huge celebration. In the Old Testament, birthdays like this are celebrated with a festival. In Genesis 40:20 to mention, Pharaoh called for a festival on his birthday. It was his time to show off of what a great leader he is. To display that he is worthy of admiration and fear he promoted some of his servants, forgave some prisoners and hung some. These are the events that completed the festival.

In the New Testament, however, it doesn't say it was a festival but we can observe that the celebration was star-studded. Noble men and rulers were guests to Herod's birthday. As a custom, to keep the guests entertained, performances are lined up. And for the final act, Herodias daughter danced before the guests and Herod. The killer performance of the young lady captured the eyes of the guests and it pleased Herod to see his guests captivated and impressed.

Time for Herod to show off. He wished to play genie or Santa; he made an oath to grant whatever the lady requests.

Behind the great talent is an opportunist manager. Herodias prompted her daughter to ask for the head of John the Baptist. But who is Herodias and what's her business with John?

Herodias, a former wife of Philip(Herod's brother) was taken by Herod for a wife. Now John publicized the immorality of Herod saying it's wrong for him to take his brother's former wife. John was a nuisance to Herod; he put him to jail --the least he could do. He wanted to kill John but he feared there would be a riot for John got plenty of followers.

Herodias hated John as well. Having John behind bars just couldn't satisfy her. It was fortunate for her her daughter's dance won her a ticket to eliminate the basher. So she urged her daughter to request John's head on a platter.

Herod didn't see that coming; he wasn't happy about it. But he can't take back his oath; John was beheaded in prison and his head was brought to the party on a platter. You could just imagine a head brought in the middle of a buffet and everyone is cheering and clapping.

If you dig more of the story, you'll learn that the death of John haunted Herod for the rest of his life.

Ever put in a situation where you feel the need to impress? Think before you comply, it might cause you trouble.

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