By: Darrelyn L. Tutt"And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother."Matthew 14:10-11-----Truth Telling - The ability to speak confidently to facts without hidden agendas or manipulations present. The assertion of "known" realities verbalized and acknowledged. The release of accurate revelations made known.Truth telling is a vital necessity in an individual's walk with Christ though it may not always be pleasant.Speak to the elect of God and you will learn that coming to grips with truthful realities, about yourself and others, is one of the most painstaking virtues of experiencing "true" life in Christ.John the Baptist is today's notable exploration and inspiration.Three virtues possessed by John the Baptist:Single-mindedness, Passion, Truth.------Today's Reading: Luke 1 and Matthew 14John the Baptist makes his entrance into the world while hidden in his mother's womb: "And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost."Luke 1:41A special and anointed child in all respects, John's life was positioned, set, and destined as "forerunner" to Christ from the womb. His life emerges, in almost every arena, as a visible and demonstrable figure, foreshadowing salvation, deliverance, and ultimate rescue in Christ.John's life and message breathed out the bell-ringing, rhythmic appeal of repentance preceding salvation. He readily and steadily testified that man's sin must be acknowledged and understood before salvation could be enjoyed and understood.Those who understood the reality of repentance leading to salvation were baptized of John ... and those who would not accept the truth about themselves and their need for Christ hated John.And in this way John was a polarizing individual amongst the Jews.-----Of great interest to me are the realities that lead to John's imprisonment and death.Consider:John the Baptist spoke the truth about repentance and he also spoke the truth about a known reality that existed between Herod and his wife, Herodias.Herodias had been married earlier to Herod's half-brother Phillip.Herod openly moved in on Phillip's marriage union and took Herodias as "his" wife.Herod and Herodias lived a substantiated intertwined life of lies and, speaking the truth into their immoral situation, is what landed John the Baptist in prison.While John was imprisoned, Herodias's beautiful daughter was asked to dance and entertain Herod. Delighted and well-pleased with her, Herod offered to fulfill whatever desire she put forth.The damsel, at this point, does an interesting thing:She asks her mother what she ought to ask for ... and Herodias suggests the "head" of John the Baptist on a platter.The gruesome task is performed and John the Baptist is decapitated.-----Hmmm ...Out of all the ways that godly men die in the Bible, this one strikes me as strangest and I like it the least.If John the Baptist must die, my mind thinks, I want him to die a death more noble, one which seems to better encapsulate his life mission, which was the preaching of repentance.But perhaps it does ... and my slow heart has missed it long.The story of John the Baptist, indeed, is a story about telling the truth, and the ramifications that led to his ultimate death because of it.In speaking to truth on a personal moral level that affected two powerfully, unified, ungodly individuals, he was hated and imprisoned ... and his beautiful life ended in a strange and very grotesque way.Still ... the truth remained the same.Truth cannot be decapitated.----There is so much to think about in this story.Until we come to grips with the truth and our lies, we negate the necessity of salvation and rule out the power of redemption. What we "do" with the truth and our handling of it speaks to what our lives, ultimately, become about.John's life and death attest to the single reality that a life and death lived in truth are saved by the Truth,Secured by the Truth,And ultimately preserved in heaven to dwell with the Truth.This reality shall be known by all who live in Truth ...Come what may.-----"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."John 8:32
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