Matthew 14:1-2 / Mark 6:14-16 / Luke 9:7-9…
He had put John the Baptist to death, but now another man was going about and through his actions was laying claim to authority, proving it in both word and deed. People were thronging to this new man, and Herod knew he was in trouble. He knew he had wrongly imprisoned and killed John, so he thought that this was a manifestation of menace sent by God to torment him.
Anything that threatens the comfortable status quo of our spirituality sets us on edge. Suddenly our personal power structure is in jeopardy, and we will be looking and listening for anything to relieve our haunted heart. People will come and tell you everything you want to hear, and if you don’t know God, or if you are currently turned away from Him in rebellion, you will naturally incline towards whatever it is that resonates with your rebellious soul.
People will use all sorts of amusement, medication, busyness and whatever else their mind can think of to try and avoid and abate their own torment. But you can’t kill a guilty conscience on your own. You have to let Jesus be Jesus, or you will suffer in superstition. Yes, you can harden yourself, but even the calcified conscience can be crushed open by the power of God. This new man must take over (Galatians 4:19 / Ephesians 4:17-24). When Jesus begins to ascend the throne, you had better abdicate or you will be a miserable shell of self-menace trapped in the haunted prison of your own heart.