The Danger of Dabbling
Herod Antipas, the king, soon heard about Jesus, because everyone was talking about him. Some were saying, “This must be John the Baptist raised from the dead. That is why he can do such miracles.” 15 Others said, “He’s the prophet Elijah.” Still others said, “He’s a prophet like the other great prophets of the past.”
16 When Herod heard about Jesus, he said, “John, the man I beheaded, has come back from the dead.”
17 For Herod had sent soldiers to arrest and imprison John as a favor to Herodias. She had been his brother Philip’s wife, but Herod had married her. 18 John had been telling Herod, “It is against God’s law for you to marry your brother’s wife.” 19 So Herodias bore a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But without Herod’s approval she was powerless, 20 for Herod respected John; and knowing that he was a good and holy man, he protected him. Herod was greatly disturbed whenever he talked with John, but even so, he liked to listen to him. – Mark 6:14-20
I’ve been known to dabble in things. Golf. Stamp collecting. Model railroading. Fishing. For the most part those are pretty benign pursuits. Although I’ve probably spent too much money on one or two of those pursuits, there has been little harm in my dabbling.
But there is a danger in dabbling with Jesus. His message is profound. The implications of the faith is far-reaching. If we only dabble, we will not only miss the most important blessings, you might actually forfeit the benefits that come from his grace.
This is what Herod is doing. He’s dabbling. He’s curious about Jesus. He’s intrigued by John. And as such, he’s going to miss the whole point. Jesus is more than a reincarnation of John the Baptist. He is more than a religious curiosity. He is more than a bad dream replaying again and again in Herod’s mind.
Matthew records Jesus asking his disciples who people said he was. The answers given there (Matthew 16:), are essentially the same as those offered here. Some people said he was Elijah, others a great prophet, and still others John, returned from the dead. No matter how people might dismiss Jesus, they will have to contend with him. No matter how intrigued people may be with the religious teaching of anyone, Jesus’ teachings will supersede them all.
Dabbling implies a cursory interest easily forgotten. Jesus’ teachings deserves more than a dabble.