And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given. He sent and had John beheaded in the prison, and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and they went and told Jesus.(Matthew 14:9-12 ESV)
In 2009 the A&E network launched a documentary series named, “Hoarders” where they portrayed people who suffered from compulsive hoarding disorder. The Mayo Clinic describes this disorder as a “persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them.” The Mayo Clinic goes on to further explain, “that a person who suffers from this disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items regardless of actual value.”
What is most interesting about this is first, it is considered a disorder. Secondly, the person’s ability or the lack thereof, to get rid of a thing depends on their own perception of its value. In some cases hoarding becomes so severe that it seriously affects the daily functioning of the individual’s lives.
So in the text we find John’s disciples dealing with a horrific problem; their teacher has just been beheaded. John’s disciples had two choices: They could continue to travel through the rest of their lives carrying the caucus of their teacher; or they could bury him and move on to the next stage of their lives (in this case the next stage was to go and talk to Jesus). Now I must note that by no means do I intend to be insensitive to those that may be mourning the loss of a loved one. However, I am intentionally speaking to those who are still holding on to things and or people. I am speaking to the ones whose lives are no more different than those who suffer from compulsive hoarding. Can you imagine how filthy and unhealthy it would have been for the men to carry around the body of John? Just picture the stench and the disease that would have surrounded them on a daily basis…This is the same affect that the things we have difficulty discarding have on our spiritual and natural lives.
The lesson to be learned from the disciples’ experience is this, when you face difficulties in life bury them and go talk to Jesus. By burying them, I do not mean hide them under your bed or put them in the back of the closet. No, deal with them immediately and after you have dealt with them, go pray (tell Jesus). For He says, “He will give us rest…for His yoke is easy and His burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). Men and women of God, I encourage you to let go of all those things that have built up in your lives. Bury them and go tell Jesus!