Don't Kill the Messenger

Julia Downey Davis

READ : Mark 6:14-29

John [told] Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” And Herodias had a grudge against him. (vv. 18-19)

The truth about ourselves is often difficult to accept. God may use a close friend or relative to bring us a convicting word. He may use someone more distant to challenge us, or give us a timely message through someone we dislike. Regardless of the mode of delivery, when we are in the wrong, the truth is exactly what we need to hear.

God proclaimed the truth to Herod and Herodias through the words of John the Baptist. Herodias, in particular, was unwilling to hear the truth through God’s chosen messenger. Offense led to rage, and then to a carefully contrived plot to obliterate the messenger.

John died for his role in delivering the truth. Yet the truth did not die with him. God’s truth stands, apart from the messenger through whom it comes or the reaction it receives. Regardless of the means he uses or the embarrassment he causes, we should rejoice when God shows the truth to us. The purpose of the truth is to free us (John 8:32), protect us (Ephesians 6:14), and purify us (1 Peter 1:22) – provided we don’t kill the messenger, but accept the message.


Lord, open my heart to receive the truth I need to hear.