For Herod feared John (the Baptist), knowing that he was a just man and holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things and heard him gladly. Mark 6:20
King Herod Antipas, powerful Roman tetrarch, liked and respected John the Baptist. But he had divorced his wife and married Herodias, his half-brother Phillip's wife. When he was rebuked for this by John, Herod laid hold on him and put him in prison for Herodias's sake (or at her insistence). But she despised John, and her hatred was not appeased.
Then came the birthday party for King Herod. All the powerful regents of his regime were invited. It must have been a festive gathering. And Herodias' daughter, a beautiful young girl, danced before the crowd as part of the entertainment. The king was mightily pleased as were the guests, so he got carried away and with an oath offered her anything she wanted up to half of his kingdom. The daughter, having been previously instructed, immediately went to her mother and sought advice on what to ask for. It was Herodias' chance to get revenge, so she told her daughter to ask for John the Baptist's head on a platter, which she summarily did. Matt. 14:6-8
And the king was SORRY: nevertheless for the oath's sake and them that sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. And he sent and had John beheaded in prison, and his head was brought in on a platter and given to the damsel, and she brought it to her mother. Matt. 14:9-11
King Herod because of peer pressure and a moment's ecstasy chose evil over good. Jesus once referred to him as "that fox" perhaps because he sttempted to play both sides against the middle: power before purity, popularity before rightness, the siren call of acceptance and "fitting in". Herod sealed his fate one more time when he stood in judgment at Jesus' trial and mocked Him. Luke 23:11
A sad story indeed of a man who knew to do good, but did it not. Jas. 4:17
Wonder how many times this sad story is played out in our world today?
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