Paying the price

So he sent word and had John beheaded in prison.

Matthew 14:10

John the Baptist was in prison, because he told Herod the tetrarch, “You have taken the wife of your brother Philip.” Philip’s wife’s name was Herodias. Herod’s action was not lawful.  Herod held a birthday party for himself and when Herodias’ daughter danced so well in his honor the king was very pleased and promised her, with an oath, “Whatever you ask, I will grant you.”

She consulted her mother who said, “Ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter,” and she did so. When Herod heard her request, he was much grieved but he had promised with an oath. So he sent his soldiers to the cell that held John the Baptist. They beheaded him and the head was given to the daughter on a platter.  She gave it to her mother. Meanwhile, the disciples buried the body of John and informed Jesus of what had happened. The description is given in Matthew (14:1-12).

Paying the Price in Bible

“But when Herod’s birthday celebration was held, the daughter of Herodias danced before the guests. She pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked for. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me, right here on a platter, the head of John the Baptist. Under pressure because of his promises and his assembled guests, the king ordered that it be done. So he sent word and had John beheaded in prison. His head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she took it to her mother. When John’s disciples came, they carried off the body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus. 

 Matthew 14:7-12

We can learn several precious and practical lessons from this discourse. We see that Herod was upset because of the promise he made with the girl. We must be   very careful, and wisely make promises with our spouse, family members, kids, friends, and office colleagues.

John the Baptist paid a great price for speaking the truth. John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have her.”  Matthew 14:4.

When you speak the truth be ready to pay the price or, if you can pay the price then you speak the truth. You must speak the truth and God will help you to pay the price. Herodias was happy to take the life of John the Baptist. A true picture of revenge. Sin gives birth to revenge.

Herodias thought that by killing John her sin was covered. But she was unaware that after her death her sin will be exposed and all future generations on the face of this earth will know it. For the past 2000 years, her sin and tyranny have been exposed. Herod wanted to kill John the Baptist but he was afraid because people respected John as a prophet. What was John’s response when he knew that he was going to be killed soon?

As a human being what he was thinking?

Was he thinking to flee?

Was he afraid of dying?

Did he regret what he said?

Did he ask to be pardoned?

He may have had some fears as a human being, or maybe not. But certainly as a prophet from above he did not want to flee and he did not have regrets. He was firm on his convictions at any cost. True conviction demands a cost. He could see his reward in heaven. We must keep our eye on the heavenly reward.

John the Baptist’s life is a great model for us because of his sacrifice.

He was a brave man.

Truth never fails.

He was dead on earth but alive in heaven.

The soldiers could not kill his soul.

The soul is more precious than the body. Our body deteriorates but our soul lives forevermore.



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