Matthew 6:16

"When you fast, do not look gloomy..."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Compassion and Patience

The first thing that struck me today was the role of Herodias's daughter in the death of John the Baptist.  I know that my first reaction the story is supposed to be how evil she was, but instead, I find myself surprised she could actually accept the head of a man on a dish and then walk it over to her mother.  I'm a grown woman who watches CSI, CSI Miami, CSI NY, NCIS, NCIS LA, Criminal Minds, and that new Criminal Minds show.  I watch the shows, but I have to turn away when the gory parts come on.   How was this young woman able to accept a severed head?   Was she freaked out, but feared her mom so much that a severed head seemed like nothing compared to what she'd face if she displeased her mother.   Or was she truly cold hearted just like Herodias?  Did she repent later, or become blood thirsty herself?

Also striking is how Jesus feels such compassion for people, even during his time mourning for his cousin. I'm sure he did mourn at least the manner of John the Baptist's death.   Still, people searched him out and didn't give him any quiet time, and Jesus felt sorry for them and served them, first by teaching them, and then by providing food for them so they could stay and learn more.  Only when they were hatching a plan to kidnap him and force him to be king did he leave them.   (Walking on water!  How cool is that?)

Then, after all that, he goes and continues to heal people, knowing that they will give him no rest, and will continually misunderstand.   His compassion and patience is astounding!

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