Summary: The things we say and do have consequences either good or bad. Sometimes they affects us personally and other times they affect others in ways we could not have imagined.
The Execution of John
A. The things we say and do have consequences either good or bad.
1. Sometimes those consequences affect us personally.
2. Other times they affect others in ways we could not have imagined.
3. The passage we are looking at today focuses on a man whose lifestyle had far reaching effects on those around him.
B. The cast of characters.
a) Known as Herod Antipas
(1) He was one of three sons of Herod the Great.
(2) Herod the Great was the ruler who tried to kill Jesus when He was a child.
(a) He was a despicable man who ordered that many of the rulers of the Jews be killed at his death so that there would be morning.
(b) His sons were no less brutal and despotic than he was.
b) Antipas was tetrarch or governor of Galilee.
c) He was a sly conniving and very ambitious man.
(1) Hausrath called him “ a wily sneak”
(2) Jesus called him a fox in Lk.13:32.
(3) Unger describes his administration as “Characterized throughout with cunning and crime, intensely selfish and utterly destitute of principle.”
d) His moral character was further revealed by the fact that he had married his brother’s wife.
(1) Antipas had taken Philips’ wife from him.
(2) This is not the same Philip who was ruler of another area of Palestine at the time.
2. Herodias and her daughter.
a) She was the niece of both men.
b) She hated John because he rebuked her and Herod because of their relationship vs.18.
c) Her daughter was in agreement with her mother’s plot to have John executed.
3. John – the preacher of righteousness who was the forerunner of Christ and an outspoken servant of God.
a) John had no ax to grind here.
b) This was a clear violation of God’s word.
(1) Lev. 18:16 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness.
(2) Lev.20:21. If a man takes his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing. He has uncovered his brother’s nakedness. They shall be childless.
c) His ministry was to call people to repentance and to point them to the savior.
d) He had done that very thing in this instance.
(1) It mattered not to John who it was.
(2) Pharisees or kings or common people it didn’t matter the message was the same.
(b) Luke 3:7-9
e) Herodias didn’t like to hear this message so she hounded Herod until he put him in prison vs.19.
(1) She really wanted him dead but was prevented by Herod who both feared and delighted in him vs. 20.
(2) Sweet says, “the power was wanting not the will” to kill John.
(3) Herodias was totally sold out to sin and was intent on having her way.
(4) Herod still had some sense of what was right and could only bring himself to imprison John because he knew John was innocent and right.
4. Imagine the pressure Herod must have been under with all of this going on and most if not all of it could have been avoided.
5. But his sin and his unwillingness to address it brought things to this point.
II. The conflict.
A. All of these things came to a head when Herod had a birthday.
1. Mark calls it an opportune time.
a) Herodias had been plotting all the while and this was her opportunity.
b) Her obsession caused her to allow her daughter to dance before the drunken revelers at the party vs.22.
(1) She didn’t send in some of the women who were professional dancers.
(2) She must have known that this girl appealed to Herod and she used that appeal against him.
(3) Vs.25 indicates that her daughter was completely in agreement with her mother.
2. Herod because of his lust and because he was probably drunk makes a rash oath.
a) “Up to half of my kingdom” is a common phrase which is used many times in scripture.
b) It is an example of the use of hyperbole to grant a wish.
c) He would never nor would any other king give up half of their kingdom to a young girl.
B. It is at this point that Herod has a choice to make.
1. Does he grant this request and kill an innocent man.
a) In which case he would have his wife off his back.
b) He would not be confronted by John again either.
2. Or does he do the right thing and tell the girl and every one there that it would be the wrong thing to do.
III. The compromise.
A. Talking to John and being impressed by what he heard was not enough.