HOST: Michael Whitworth
SPONSOR: Logos Bible Software
King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some said, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.” But others said, “He is Elijah.” And others said, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” For it was Herod who had sent and seized John and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because he had married her. For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. For when Herodias’s daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.” And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.” And she went out and said to her mother, “For what should I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.” And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
As this passage recounts the events that led to the death of John the baptizer, it serves as a sobering reminder of the devastating effects that sin can have in the lives of people. John, a man who was obviously respected and even liked by Herod (v. 20), was imprisoned because he condemned the sin of adultery that Herod and Herodias were involved in. Then, because of the feelings stirred up in Herod by the lascivious acts performed by Herodias’ daughter as she danced before the king and his guests, John was beheaded. Sin, and his attempts to hide it, justify it, and avoid its consequences, had caused Herod to murder a man he knew to be a just and holy man. It continues to be true today that sin, if left unchecked, can cast us into a downward spiral of actions and attitudes, leading us deeper and deeper into depravity and further and further away from God. May God help us to avoid the pitfalls of sin and be constantly renewed in our commitment to God.
Why do you think sin has such an ability to lead us into more sin?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!