Mt. 14:1-13; Mk. 6:14-29; Lk. 9:7-9
Several months earlier, John the Baptist had been arrested and put into prison because he had said that Herod should not have his brother Philip’s wife.
When John had first been arrested, Herod wanted to kill him, but he was afraid of the people because they thought that John was a prophet. As time went on, Herod began to listen to him and to respect him somewhat.
At Herod’s birthday party, his wife’s daughter danced before him. He was so pleased with her, that he made an oath that he would give her anything she wanted, even half of his kingdom. Her mother told her to ask for John’s head on a platter.
Herod regretted that he had made such a rash promise, but because of the “honor” in fulfilling an oath and because of the others with him, he had John beheaded. If we make a rash promise that fulfilling would cause us to commit sin, we should renege on that promise.
John’s disciples took his body and buried it and then told Jesus what had happened.
When Herod later began to hear about the things that Jesus was doing, he started having severe problems with his conscience. He thought that Jesus maybe was John or even Elijah raised from the dead and was now performing these signs and miracles. Herod began seeking to see Jesus for himself.