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Ministry of Jesus

John the Baptist Beheaded

Scripture

Matthew 14:1-12
Mark 6:14-29

Commentary

The story is presented as a flashback.  When news of Jesus' miracles reach Herod the tetrarch (not to be confused with King Herod who was in power at the time of Jesus' birth) Herod believes that John the Baptist has risen from the dead.

Herod had married his brother's wife, Herodius.  Because John preached against this, he was thrown into prison to silence him.  On his birthday, Herod makes a poor promise to his niece and must execute John the Baptist in order to follow through with it.  Previously he was afraid to have John killed because of a possible uproar but now he feels that he must follow through with his oath because he made it publicly.

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