¹⁴And King Herod heard of it, for His name had become well known; and people were saying, “John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why these miraculous powers are at work in Him.”
¹⁵But others were saying, “He is Elijah.” And others were saying, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old. “
¹⁶But when Herod heard of it, he kept saying, “John, whom I beheaded, has risen!”
¹⁷For Herod himself had sent and had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because he had married her.
¹⁸For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
¹⁹Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death and could not do so; ²⁰for Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed; but he used to enjoy listening to him.
²¹A strategic day came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his lords and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee; ²²and 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.”
²³And he swore to her, “Whatever you ask of me, I will give it to you; up to half of my kingdom.”
²⁴And she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.”
²⁵Immediately she came in a hurry to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”
²⁶And although the king was very sorry, yet because of his oaths and because of his dinner guests, he was unwilling to refuse her.
²⁷Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded him to bring back his head. And he went and had him beheaded in the prison, ²⁸and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.
²⁹When his disciples heard about this, they came and took away his body and laid it in a tomb.
Jesus wants people to discover and acknowledge their guilt.
Deliverance comes when they accept that He died as Righteous for the unrighteous.
There is talk about Jesus, then and now.
Herod (Herod Antipas; reigned during Jesus’ walk on earth and at His death – cf. Luke 23:8-12) heard from Him (Mark 6:14).
Jesus Himself spoke.
His students went out to preach.
And after that the reports about Him spread further.
Whoever hears about Jesus, wonders Who He may be (Mark 6:14,15).
Opinions about Him are divided, then and now.
For some, the report about Jesus does little or nothing.
Herod becomes restless and anxious. His conscience is making overtime. He sees everything that happened clearly before him again.
At an unforeseen moment, he felt suddenly forced to make a fatal decision. He ordered John the Baptist to be killed. Of course Herod would have liked to forget that.
But when he hears from Jesus, the past is stirred up within him.
Apparently, the report about Jesus can have this effect.
We will discovered what we have done wrong.
Incidentally, it is astonishing that John the Baptist could just be killed like that. It is completely incomprehensible that the life of this faithful servant of the Lord God was thus ended. The dance of Herodias’ daughter was deadly to John.
If it goes like this for the forerunner of Jesus, things don’t look so good for Jesus Himself. He will also be executed. First it will be determined that He is innocent and then He will be killed anyway (John 19:4-6, 16)
That is not only baffling.
That is also the Gospel.
Those who are weighed down by the burden of their guilt may find salvation here.
Jesus died not because of his own fault, but because of that of others. He, the Righteous, died for the unrighteous (1 Peter 3:18; Romans 5:1-11).
Because He did that, He is still talked about.
And he who asks himself Who He is, will find the answer: He is the One Who delivers us from our sins (Matthew 1:21; 1 John 1:7).
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