Herod presents two lessons about what we are not supposed to do.
The first item that we are not supposed to do is to go against our conscience. All of us have that inborn power to distinguish right from wrong. All of us know what is good and what is evil.
Deep within us, even without people telling us, we have that natural tendency to recognize what is bad and what is good. For example, it is quite obvious that it is bad to kill a person, to steal, to cheat. All of us are conscious of these from within. It belongs to our human nature. We know that this power within us is called conscience.
Herod went against his conscience. He knew what was right and what was wrong. He knew that he was not supposed to live with a woman who was not his wife. He knew that he was not supposed to give in to the pressure exerted by his friends. He knew that he was not supposed to kill anybody because human life was sacred. But he did. He went against his conscience because of social pressure. We should learn from Herod and, unlike him, follow what our conscience tells us.
The second defect of Herod was that after he went against his conscience, he wanted to appease his conscience and convince himself that there was nothing wrong with what he did. He actually killed John but when he saw Jesus Christ, he told himself that John had risen, and therefore he was not guilty and the evil that he had done had been undone. He went against his conscience and worst of all, he did not like to face the demand of his own conscience. He went against his conscience and wanted to cover up what he did.
The disease of Herod continues to be our disease. Many of us still go against our conscience. We know what should be done and yet we do not do it because we are afraid of what other people will say. We know what should be done and yet we do not do it because we love sensual pleasures more than anything else. We know what should be done. Our conscience tells us that we should be honest and yet we will still cheat each other and the persons closest to us because that is the easiest way out.
The worst of all is that after going against our conscience, we cover our disease with band-aid and pretend that everything is all right. After going against our conscience, we cover up our crime as if nothing really happened. How terrible it is to commit a sin and deny that you commit a sin. The greatest sin of our age is this denial of the sin within us.
Let us return to where we should be. Let us listen to our conscience again. And after listening to our conscience, let us do what our conscience tells us no matter how high the cost. If you go against your conscience; if you do something wrong and immoral; if you cheat and stain somebody, do not cover it up. The Lord is ready and willing to accept you back. If only you’ll be sorry. If only you will be humble.
Let us learn a lesson from Herod. He went against his conscience and covered up his crime. Let us not fall into the same sin.
LISTEN TO YOUR CONSCIENCE
Only Jesus, Always Jesus