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The Murder of a Soul Lover

By Howard R. Horton

religion, articles, christianity

Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist" (Matt. 2:2). Why was John greater than all others born of women?

John's Fidelity

John the Baptist preached the message of repentance to the mighty and the lowly. On the banks of Jordan, John preached to publicans and soldiers (Luke 3:12-14). John also preached to Herod, the king, and Herodias, the queen, the stem message of repentance.

It is easy, as one commentator put it, to preach to those who are weak and of low estate; however, the real test comes when we preach to those of high rank, those who are in position to harm or help us.

John the Baptist wasn't a hireling. He preached truth regardless of the grade of his listeners.

John's Content

The content of John's message was to the point. John did not waste his breath preaching something irrelevant. Preachers must preach things that cause the listeners to come face to face with their own shortcomings. John said to Herod, "It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife" (Mark 6:18). John preached it every time he saw Herod and Herodias (the imperfect tense is used in Mark 6:18, showing John repeated the message). John kept on preaching what he did to Herod and Herodias because he loved their souls enough to tell them they must separate.

Do we love the souls of the lost enough to preach a soul-convicting gospel which will cause them to think on their unholy condition?

One thing is sure: The courtiers of Herod and Herodias were not going to tell these two powerful people to separate. No sir! The hirelings of Herod's court didn't love the souls of Herod and Herodias.

John the Baptist was greater because he was true to the Father and because he loved lost souls. Therefore he was murdered.

So, the next time a preacher or classroom teacher or elder says something that pricks our hearts let's not get angry. Let's understand that they may have one of the traits which made John the Baptist a great person in the eyes of the Son of God-love for the souls of men and women and dedication to the will of the heavenly Father.

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Published October 1992