Summary: Herod Antipas provides proof that death is not always physical. Life ends in death twice without Christ.
The Death of a Conscience
And King Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, that John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do show forth themselves in him. Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well known. And he said, “John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.” Others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is the Prophet, or like one of the prophets.” But when Herod heard, he said, “This is John, whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead!”
For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her. Because John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” Therefore Herodias held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not;
for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. And when Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, “Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.” He also swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom.” So she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist!” Immediately she came in 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; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison, 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 away his corpse and laid it in a tomb.
Introduction – Death Becomes Her
On Friday, May 23 2008, Val Thomas’ heart stopped three times. She’d had no brain waves for over 17 minutes. Her skin had started to harden and her fingers had started to curl. Death had set in. Doctors at the West Virginia hospital say that Thomas had less than a ten percent chance of survival. Her family said their goodbyes, although still praying for a miracle. As the nurses began removing the tubing in Thomas’ arm, Val Thomas coughed and then began speaking. God had other plans for Val Thomas than death. Thomas, who is expected to recover, says, ‘I feel very blessed. I know God has something in store for me, another purpose. I don’t know what it is but I’m sure he’ll tell me.’
There are several types of death. There is physical death, emotional death, marital death, and even the death of a conscience. Just as Val Thomas experienced physical death there are some who experience and live with a dead conscience. Scripture tells us we can sear or cauterize our conscience. Such is the case of Herod Antipas.
Let’s examine this parenthetical passage of scripture today. It is set between the disciples accomplishing great things in the Lord at His direction and the miraculous feeding of the multitudes. This concludes the story of John’s life and ministry as the one who prepares the way for the Lord.
The death of a conscience…
Starts with a Decision 17-20
The nature of man is not inherently good. To listen to the politicians of today EVERYONE is good by nature. But the scripture indicates otherwise! The Word states emphatically that ALL have sinned and are sinners according to Romans 3:23. We are born in sin, live in sin and will die in our sin unless we repent and place our faith in Christ who died for us.
I would like for you to note first of all…
The Book of Proverbs exhorts us to seek wisdom while it may be found. Notice what Proverbs 5:1-6 states. “My son, pay attention to my wisdom; Lend your ear to my understanding, that you may preserve discretion, and your lips may keep knowledge. For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of hell. Lest you ponder her path of life— her ways are unstable; you do not know them.”