Jdg:1-2; Mark 6:1-29; Ps 146-7
Words, as we have noted several times already have real power. Here we see the power fo words revealed in two different ways.
Firstly we see the power of words to enslave and entrap in Herod and his foolish promise. esus himself warns us against making vows. For every careless word leads to judgement of one form or another. They create realities in which we must then live, held by the vow [Marriage is a case in point here]. Herod creates a world of promise, that is far from promising. Although he is supposedly all-powerful, he is caught by his words and John the Baptist pays.
In a sense that is what is going on in the opening chapters of Judges. The children of Israel give their devotion, that which belongs to God, to the Ba’als and so are themselves entrapped. Indeed this entrapment to idols is a repetitive theme not just throughout judges but indeed the entirety of Scripture. That which we sacrifice for in the end holds us. We make promises. We create worlds. When we lay down our lives for that which is not God, the path is one of slavery, not freedom.
Then comes Jesus to Nazareth. Here the force of Jesus words is disturbing to them who thought they knew him. Jesus is in a very real sense ‘out of place’, ‘my kingdom is not of this world’ – and his words do not find a home. Here again we continue Mark’s theme of the hidden Messiah – they hear his words, but they do not See the one who speaks to them.
Words of promise lead to entrapment. Words of Freedom lead to rejection. Much to ponder