Mark 6 tells us about the death of John the Baptist. In this Bible study, King Herod promises the daughter of Herodias anything she wants.
So, her mother entices her daughter to ask for the head of John the Baptist.
We’ll learn about the power of words and choices.
And finally, this study lesson shows how one foolish action leads to the death of John the Baptist.
What can we learn from this Bible lesson? Let’s see how the announcer of Christ meets his tragic end..
The Death of John the Baptist – Herod Seals John’s Fate
For 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.
For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death and could not do so; for 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.
A strategic day came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his lords and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee; 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.”
And she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.”
Immediately 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.”
And although the king was very sorry, yet because of his oaths and because of his dinner guests, he was unwilling to refuse her.
Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded him to bring back his head.
And he went and had him beheaded 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 about this, they came and took away his body and laid it in a tomb. – Mark 6:17-29 NASB
King Herod Kills John the Baptist
The great prophet, the fore teller of Christ, is killed because of embarrassment.
Yes, Herod was truly “sorry” at the thought of killing John. But, he did not let that stop him.
Remember, Herod arrested John the Baptist because he was pressured by his advisors and his wife. And, John was killed for the same reason.
Pressure, Choice & Words – A Powerful Combination
First, John the Baptist accused Herod of adultery because Herodias was Herod’s sister -in-law. She was the former wife of his brother, Phillip.
Now, we begin to see the motive behind the actions of Herodias.
When opportunity came, Herodias had two choices.
- She could deal with her sin.
- She could get rid of the one who made it public.
Herodias chose the latter. So, the stage was set for the demise of John the Baptist.
No doubt, King Herod was pressured into killing John.
He made a promise to give the daughter of Herodias anything she asked.
So, when she asked for John’s head, he faced embarrassment from his peers and subjects if he backed away from that promise.
“Think before you speak.“
This is an old saying. I don’t know the author.
But, the words we use can produce hurt and sin.
You and I need to be careful in what we say.
We could end up seeing someone’s head on a platter.
And, we don’t really want that, do we?
Love in Christ
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