The Dark Side of a High-Limit Whatever

A powerful king once was aroused by his step daughter’s dance performance. It was probably a very seductive dance. The king was also probably very drunk as the center of attention at his own birthday party. He was the wealthiest person in the room and he was very excited. So much in fact that he made a bold promise; an offer with a high-limit whatever.

And when the daughter of Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you.” And he swore to her, “Whatever you ask of me, I will give it to you; up to half of my kingdom.” Mark 6:22-23

Over Commit

Have you ever made a promise and instantly regretted making the promise? I have. Too often, I promise to do things but when it comes time to do them, I have something else I want to do. The promise is easy; fulfilling the promise is hard. Have you ever been there?

We find the king “very sorry” (vs. 26) after the girl consults with her mom. I guess John’s life was worth as much as anything up to half the value of his kingdom. She asks for the head of John the Baptist to be delivered to her at once. You see, Mom didn’t like John. John called out Herod for marrying his brother’s wife, Herodias. Until now, the king had been afraid of John and didn’t want to kill him. But once Herod was painted into a corner by his stepdaughter, he had to act. The daughter and the queen embarrassed Herod into killing John the Baptist.

We’ve talked about “whatever” in several posts. But when Herod said “whatever” to his stepdaughter, his high-limit whatever sealed John’s fate.


Can you follow a God who would let John die at the hand of Herod under these circumstances? John had already questioned Jesus for not saving him. (See Luke 7:18-28) You would too. John had been Jesus front-man for months. They had known each other all their lives. But when John was locked up in prison, Jesus continued his ministry as if nothing had happened.

Today, God may allow you to go through some bad high-limit whatever. Maybe you lost your job, or you are going through a divorce that wasn’t your choice. Maybe you simply failed. Or you lost a family member. Our world is messed up and Jesus doesn’t seem to be as interested in fixing it as he is in restoring his people.

“These things I have spoken to you so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Jesus’ Guarantee

Jesus guarantees us the world will remain broken, at least for now. But we can choose to take courage simply because he has overcome the world. He will do whatever to restore your relationship to him, and he will also use your whatever to make a difference in the lives of your coworkers, family and friends. Will you join him today?

Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

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