Our Mysterious Freedom
“And King Herod heard of it, . . . ” Mark 6:14
On the surface this story appears to be about a king we hardly can identify with. He had influence, popularity, fame and the means to bring about whatever he could conceive. To live at such a standard of royalty is unfamiliar to most of us. But there is something we have in common with Herod.
God has granted us a mysterious freedom. Jesus had it too and handled it well. He came as the Son of Man, tempted, yet without sin. He overcame the world with it. He loved and worked as the Son of Man. He used His power to do good to others.
When God created mankind, He gave us this mysterious freedom. Without it, we would be caught between forced belief and fierce resistance. God, in being loving, risked that we would use our freedom to love Him, but we did not. Instead, we used it to defeat the will of God by doing evil. Every day we are doing the things we know He hates.
Our freedom is real. God will not force us to worship Him. He will not coerce hallelujah from us, He desires willing worship. We are made to be people, not puppets. God doesn’t give us freedom only to turn around and take it away. The freedom to do right means also having the freedom to do wrong. If man is to obey freely, he must be free to disobey.
There are some things God cannot do – He cannot deny His own holiness, He cannot lie, He cannot repent, and He will not manipulate us to choose good over evil. Yet, sin is real and, one without Christ will always choose evil. Still there is the witness of God in the heart of every person; the voice of the conscience which calls us to the love of God. Try as we may to drown it out with noisy passions, still it speaks truth.
Herod heard the truth. He could have chosen to act on it, but he didn’t. We’ve been given the same power Herod had, the power to choose.
What are you doing with the truth you’ve heard?