GOSPEL MEDITATION # 190
The Death of John the Baptist
- Find a quiet place without distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great, was tetrarch of Galilee and Perea. He married the wife of his brother Philip, which ran counter to the Law of Moses – (see Lev. 18:16, 20:21). Herod both feared John, likely due to guilt, and respected him all at once. A familiar conflict.
- We are reminded of David’s words in Psalm 51, which were occasioned by Nathan’s rebuke of David for his adultery and murder.
- Herodias, the former wife of Herod’s brother Philip, was more offended than her new husband. She hated John and wanted revenge. The righteous John made her feel guilty.
- At an occasion where Herod entertained powerful local politicos, he got very drunk. The daughter of Herodias, Salome, danced a flirty dance and Herod made a terrible mistake, one which he regretted right away.
- To display his power to Salome and the rest of the partyers, he promised the young woman he would give her whatever she wanted. The request was the Baptist’s head on a platter.
- This is a story of hate, revenge, and murder. Guilt and paranoia descended upon Herod and this lead him to think that Jesus, whom he heard was doing miracles in the regions he ruled, was actually John raised from the dead.
- And the result would be guilt for the rest of the lives of that family, from Herod, Herodias, and Salome and those who had to execute John. Sin has a way of spreading out and destroying as it goes.