There was a man sent from God, whose name was John...And Herod sent, and beheaded John in the prison. (John 1:6; Matthew 14:10)
With it I asked: "Read this and tell me what is your first thought." There were/are no right or wrong answers, and there was/is no "hook". I was sincerely curious what thoughts/reactions are elicited by this information about the beginning and end of the life of John the Baptist. Here is a sample of responses I received.
- Current English doesn't use send intransitively in this way.
- 553 Denson for the first part.
- John the Baptist....
- How sad!
- John was not that light.
- More like "And Herod sent for John, and had him beheaded."
- Self sacrifice.
- It can be dangerous to be sent by God. [Jesus and most of his leading followers suffered death at the hands of the authorities.]
- The truly righteous often suffer at the hands of power.
- Accept the cost of discipleship.
John the Baptist was an intriguing individual as the one sent by God to prepare the way for his son. He was courageous, clear, certain (that is, he was definite in his words and toward his audience), confrontational, precise, prophetic, ominous, significant and secondary. The main ingredient I initially saw in putting those two sentences together as the beginning and end of John's life is how unexpected are the ways of God.