John the Baptist had it coming

Warning: Satire ahead

OK, so it was probably wrong for Herod to behead John the Baptist, but the dude totally had it coming.

Why did he feel the need to tell Herod about who he should or shouldn’t marry (Matthew 14:4)? Why would he talk about sex at all, especially having the audacity to tell a King what is lawful? Maybe you can say that in a church, but why would you expect an unbeliever to listen.

Talk about poking the bear.

You just have to be smarter than that.

Come to think of it, he was like this with everyone.

It seemed like his whole message was one of sin and impending judgment, telling people they needed to repent.

He was unnecessarily rude, calling a bunch of people a “brood of vipers” (Matthew 3:7).

He spent his time fear-mongering, telling people that “God’s wrath” was coming and that anyone who didn’t repent was going to be thrown into the fire (Matthew 3:10) and that Jesus was a judge who would “burn the chaff with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:12).

Hey, maybe he would have been more liked if he had worn nicer clothes and had a more “normal” diet.

Yeah, he probably shouldn’t have been beheaded for the stuff that he said, that was probably an overreaction, but could the guy have been more offensive? What did he expect?

Like I said, he totally had it coming.

His message shouldn’t have been so harsh. He really didn’t need to take sin so seriously. He should have spoken more about God’s love and less about his judgment. Or he at least should have been quiet about it.

You know, I bet if this guy had been more like Jesus this would have never happened to him.

This little satirical reflection comes from a serious question I have rolling around in my head. Where is the role of the prophetic voice in the church? Are we to the point where we really see John the Baptist as a villain and not as the one who was sent to prepare the way for our Lord? Jesus said of him, “among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater that John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11). What would we do with someone with his voice today? Or did such a prophetic voice (that of “forthtelling” more than simply “foretelling”) end with Jesus? I don’t have any clear answers yet, but it is worth wrestling with the question, Where is the prophetic voice of the church and what would it look like to honor Christ in this prophetic voice?