July 15, 2018
Mark 6:21-29…“When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.’” vs. 22
There’s some confusion in the ancient documents about this dancer’s name (Josephus says she was called Salome), but there’s no doubt that this was probably the favorite biblical scene for medieval and renaissance artists. They loved to paint the seductive, sexy girl, draped in seven diaphanous veils, dancing with a platter that held the gruesome bloody head of John the Baptist. We can see hundreds of such paintings in museums all around the world. They’ve helped to contribute to the notion that innocent men are easily tricked into sinful behavior by the wiles of wicked women. Until recent years, even the most egregious examples of sexual assault were presumed to be the fault of the victim. It’s a difficult prejudice to overcome, particularly when biblical passages are used to give support. In truth, Herod is totally responsible for John’s death. His massive ego and foolish need to impress meant the ugly end of a godly man. Sadly, megalomaniacs like Herod are still around, and always it’s the innocent who suffer. Sin isn’t a male or female thing–it infects us all. What a blessing it is to be surrounded by forgiven sinners who humbly seek to do God’s will, and who resist the narcissism that plagues our times!
Thought for the Day: How could you be seduced and lured into sin?