Tuesday, September 22, 2009

When Herod got it right

"At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him." Matthew 14.2

In Matthew 14, Herod murders St. John the Baptist in cold blood. But before he did, he got one thing right, and it's in vs. 2.

The verse helps us understand the relationship between good works and the Christian's life.

Some Christians go too far one way. They imagine that any good we do is somehow of our own doing, and that we can glory in our works.

Others imagine that we are like rocks that God throws -- that we are completely passive in the doing of good.

But the reality is more like Herod expressed it: good works show forth in the Christian's life. It's impossible for them not to: when someone is in vital contact with God's mercy, good will flow forth to that Christian's neighbor like water flowing from a fountain.

Even Herod saw that.

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