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Puvis de Chavannes, The Beheading of St John the Baptist, c. 1869

Puvis de Chavannes, The Beheading of St John the Baptist, c. 1869, Public Domain

John could not go around saying the things he was saying without attracting the attention of the authorities and he ends up in Herod’s dungeon. By now the one to whom he had been pointing, his cousin, Jesus of Nazareth, is traveling the land, teaching and healing in the manner that John had predicted. Even strong voices can falter under stress (as seen in our own Senate last night), and Jesus, having reassured the wavering John, impresses John’s pedigree upon the crowd. “Don’t lose focus,” he virtually says, “you received the integrity of John’s message then – nothing has changed. Regardless of what you perceive to be happening, the implementation of the reign of God is on course.”

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