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  • Writer's pictureShannon Duskie

A Strange Take on John The Baptist's Head

So I'm working my way through the book of Matthew. Why? Because I read a book that suggested I sit down and read the entire chapter in one sitting and that hasn't happened so I'm doing it on my own time.

This morning I started with Matthew 14. I had to pause after verse 12 because all I could think was well that's fucked up! Have you ever read the 12 verses in the bible where John the Baptist is beheaded? You'd be thinking the same thing, guaranteed!! Let me put this is Shannon terms - and FYI I'm no expert in this so there's a very good chance I may have some facts wrong here.

Herod was having an affair with Herodias, who was Herod's brother's wife. John the baptist was all like "Herod, that's messed up man! Not to mention unlawful." Herod didn't want to hear that shit, so he threw John in jail and wanted to kill him, but was afraid of what people would think about that, so he didn't....until Herod's birthday anyway. On Herod's birthday, Herodias' daughter did a little shimmy and shake birthday dance for Herod which pleased Herod so much that he promised to give her whatever she asked. (side note: I also wonder how old this daughter was and how strange it is that your lover's daughter is performing for you). Then, prompted by her mother, the daughter then asked for John the Baptist's head on a platter. WTF? And this time - because there was a full table of guests at the birthday party and Herod is always super worried about what other people think - he ordered John's head be chopped off and brought in on a freakin' platter. They give the platter to the girl who skips it over to her mother.

See - Now you're thinking Well that's fucked up!

One of the underlying themes I want to pull out here is - WHY ARE PEOPLE ALWAYS WORRIED ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK?? What would Herod have done if he wasn't so worried about what other people think? Sure - he probably would have still thrown John in jail because someone who is sleeping with someone else's wife probably doesn't want to hear the truth that they shouldn't be doing it because they already know that and don't want to face it themselves. But I almost betcha John would've kept his head.

What are you doing or NOT doing because of what other people think? Do you find yourself saying I SHOULD do this? or I SHOULD do that? "SHOULD" is your first clue if you pay attention to it. If you're continually telling yourself that you SHOULD be doing something, but you're not - do you really even WANT to do it? Or are you listening to culture or others telling you what you should be doing?

So here's my challenge:

  • Write down the things that you're telling yourself you SHOULD do.

  • Take a look at that list and challenge yourself. Ask yourself if these are things that YOU really WANT or are these things someone else wants for you? Are these things something the world tells you that you SHOULD be doing?

  • Decide which ones YOU truly WANT and put those into action.

  • Decide which ones you don't freakin' want but think you SHOULD want because everyone says you should and release that shit into the universe!

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