Here John is in prison. Why? He dared to preach repentance to a King!
Perhaps Herod knew enough Scripture to understand John was right when he said - It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife!
And if not for the anger of his wife, Herod probably would have allowed John to continue his fiery ministry in freedom.
But Herod’s wife was not so forgiving! She wanted John dead! But…
Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him.
At some level Herod respected John’s courage and message. He may have even liked him.
This makes it all the more amazing when Herod ends up ordering John’s execution. Why did he do it? What could possibly make a man do something he knows is so very wrong?
Of course it began with a rash promise he made to his wife’s daughter after her dance at a banquet. He promised to grant any request she might have. And after talking with her mother she asked for John’s head on a platter!
But surely even a King can acknowledge a mistake in judgment rather than make a greater mistake by taking the life of an innocent man!
No, the real reason Herod ordered the execution was to be politically correct - The king was greatly distressed - but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her.
In front of all his high officials and military commanders Herod simply caved to peer pressure. He couldn’t find the courage to do the right thing.
Aren’t there times in our own lives when we find it much easier to be politically correct than to listen to the Teacher and do what is right?