Finish Well

Sunday School Chronicles

Me: Let’s be real, sin is fun!
Student 1: No it’s not!
Me: Didn’t you just get your phone taken away?
Student 1: Oh yeah!
Me: Exactly! I don’t want to hear any perfect Sunday school answers. Guess what? Everybody sins!
Student 2: I don’t!
Me: And the sins just keep coming! Yes you do! So John the Baptist is in jail for calling out Herod Antipas.
Student 3: What’d he do?
Me: Just married his sister in law. No big deal.
Students: WHAT!?!?!?!
Me: Of course it was a big deal! Look, when you’re enjoying sin, you’re not a fan of someone calling you out. Imagine being on your 5th snicker bar and someone tells you to stop eating that, would you be happy?
Students: NO!
Me: Herod throws John in jail. Herod won’t kill him because John is a righteous man. But Herod’s wife, Herodias wants blood! She’s like, “John’s not about to talk about me and think he’s just gonna keep on living. Nah. Not on tuh-day!” She goes to her daughter like, “At the party tonite, dance really cute. Herod will like it a lot. I mean a lot a lot. When he offers you something ask for John the Baptist’s head on a silver platter.” The daughter was like, “Say no more mama! It’s a done deal!”
Student 4: No way!
Me: Way. The daughter does her dance. Herod is feeling it. He says, “Stepdaughter/niece, I really liked that dance! In fact, I liked it so much you can ask for anything! I’ll even give you half of my kingdom!” And she said said, “Thanks uncle stepdad! Since you asked! Can I have John the Baptist’s head on a silver platter?” Pause. Let’s go back to John the Baptist. He’s still in jail. John is starting to doubt some things. He sent his disciples to talk to Jesus. Jesus said, “Tell John I’m the one who gave sight to the blind. I made people walk. I’m the One and only.” The disciples bring this message back to John and he said, “Cool.”
Student 5: So what happened?
Me: What do y’all think happened?
Students: John lived! Herod killed him! Herod had a change of heart!
Me: Herod kept his promise.
Students: Aww man.
Me: I get it. But here’s the thing, God never promised John a peaceful death. He said John would prepare the way for Christ. And he did! It can’t get any better than baptizing the Savior of the universe. John did exactly what he was supposed to do and God called him home. It’s not about the way you leave this earth, it’s about what you did while you were here and where you’re headed afterwards.

Reflect: Why do bad things happen to good people? John The Baptist was obedient and was still punished for doing the right thing. Many times, what the world thinks is right isn’t the same thing as what God says is right. Sometimes, a wordly punishment and a godly reward happen at the same time. John The Baptist was punished by worldly standards but rewarded in God’s kingdom. Was John’s punishment fair? No. Did God forget John? No. Remember, just because things aren’t fair in this world, it doesn’t mean God is keeping points by what the world thinks is right, fair, and just. Pray and ask God to remind you and help you continue to do the right thing, even when it’s hard.


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