The Rumor Mill Grinds us!
King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some said, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.” But others said, “He is Elijah.” And others said, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.”
But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” Mark 6:14-16
We come to the part of Mark’s Gospel where we find out that John, Jesus’ cousin, is dead. We will learn more about that story tomorrow. Today, I focus on the rumors.
The stories of Jesus’ actions, and those of his disciples, have spread throughout the country. It even reaches the palace of Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great. The rumors are swirling that Jesus is a resurrected John the Forerunner (the Baptist), while others claim he is a resurrected Elijah (who lived in the 9th Century BC). Others call him a prophet like those of yesteryear. Not one of these rumors is true. Herod favors the first, and it has to scare the bejeebers out of him since he had John beheaded.
My first call was to a church in a very very small town. One morning, the scanners erupted with a message of the body of a deceased 50-something male found on the front porch at such-in-such address. (Note: “J” and I may have been the only people in town without a scanner.) Many people in the community knew addresses by the residents who lived at them. Hence, people knew Joe Schmo (name changed intentionally), who happened to be 50-something, lived at such-in-such street (forget HIPA privacy). A couple of well-meaning busybodies drove by the address to confirm that Joe Schmo was dead, and indeed there was a body on the front porch. Tragically, somebody not in authority called his brother and nephew (both lived in other areas) to deliver the tragic news. Here’s the rub;
It wasn’t Joe Schmo!
Now, the rest of the story. Joe’s buddy was staying at his house. Before midnight, Joe went to bed, and his buddy stepped out on the front porch to have his last smoke of the day. The man never made it back into the house because he had a massive heart attack, and Joe found his body on the porch early the following day and called 911.
Poor Joe Schmo had to call his brother and cousin to let them know he was alive (can you imagine that conversation?) and then spent the rest of the day with a friend at the local pizza place so that others could see that he was still alive. The rumors of Joe Schmo’s demise had been greatly exaggerated.
In an age when disinformation comes at us at lightning speed from every direction, wouldn’t it behoove us to simply be still and let God! Otherwise, we may be fanning the fires of hell and making a bad situation worse by repeating what some agenda driven source has manipulatively shared.
Miracle Worker and Way Maker:
Help us to be still and know that you are God!
I pray in the name of “42.” Amen!