As mentioned in my earlier post, Grudem’s Systematic Theology[i] identifies four passages that support the position that Christians should try to influence government.  In this post, I look at what takeaways a Christian can gain from Matthew 14:4.


Matthew 14:4 (NASB95) records the fact that John the Baptist called out Herod about marrying his brother’s wife:

4 For John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.”

One commentator[ii] provides background data:

It is not lawful appeals to the teaching of Jewish religious law, which would not have permitted a man to marry his brother’s wife while the brother was still alive (see Lev 18:16; 20:21). Herod Antipas claimed to be a loyal Jew, and so it could be expected that the prophet John would speak out against what he had done. Since John’s argument is based upon the commands of the Jewish Law, one may translate “Our (Jewish) Law does not permit …” or “Our Jewish religion does not allow us to …”

In the context of the 21st Century, Matthew 14:4 appears to encourage Christians to call out governmental authorities about biblically immoral conduct.


One practical takeaway from Matthew 14:4 is that Christians should call out government officials who engage in biblically immoral conduct.  While there are not enough printer cartridges to completely carry out that task, Christians ought to call it out when they can.

If you are reading this post and are not a Christian, unless God intervenes, your eternal destination is hell. 

But, your destiny can change.  Today can be the day of your salvation.  Please see my blog ( for a description of how you can be saved and a more concise description at my ( ).


I am mindful of and respect the rights other authors and/or publishers possess in their works.  I thus try my best to not violate any copyright rights other authors and/or publishers possess in their works.  The below copyright permission statement is the result of my best efforts to understand that limited usage or “fair use” is available and/or to secure direct permission for specific works.  The quotations from commentaries are considered to be “fair use.”

Scripture quotations marked “ESV” are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version) copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Scripture marked “NASB95” are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.”

Scripture marked “NCV” is taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

The Scriptures marked “NET” are quoted are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996, 2019 used with permission from Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved”.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture marked “GW” is taken from the God’s Word Bible that is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations. Quotations are used by permission.

[i] Footnote 11 at page 893 (Grudem, W. A. (2004). Systematic theology: an introduction to biblical doctrine (p. 893). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House) reads [in part]:

The fact that Christians should try to influence government to make laws consistent with biblical standards is indicated by passages such as Matt. 6:10; 14:4; Acts 24:25; and 1 Tim. 2:1–4.

[ii] Newman, B. M., & Stine, P. C. (1992). A handbook on the Gospel of Matthew (p. 451). New York: United Bible Societies.