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The Real Reason John The Baptist Was Beheaded
Many of you know the story of John the Baptist and that he was beheaded at the end of his ministry. What I didn’t know for a long time was the real reason he was beheaded. Today I’m going to answer that question for you.
For some reason, I had always simply thought it was because he was proclaiming the coming of King Jesus and that people hated him for that. After all, Jesus and his disciples were persecuted and killed for this reason. Today we are going to go into everything that was involved in the death of John the Baptist, so stay with me.
Pastors in the church usually have only 20 to 30 minutes to get their message across and for that reason all the facts of a particular situation may not be revealed. To be honest, in most cases, due to time the facts are quickly skimmed over.
When you study on your own or as a group that is when you receive “revelation knowledge” of God’s Word and it’s so exciting!
A Little Background on John The Baptist Ministry
John was ordained to proclaim the coming of Christ before he was ever born. The Word says that he was filled with the Holy Spirit while still in his mother’s womb. John’s mother, Elizabeth, was actually the first person to be filled with the Holy Spirit, then immediately John.
Elizabeth and Mary, Jesus’ mother, were 1st cousins, making Jesus and John 2nd cousins. This is so amazing that the forerunner for Jesus was in His own family!
John the Baptists’ message was simple. He proclaimed that the long-awaited Messiah was coming and those that believed in Him and followed Him could have eternal life. His mission was to baptize people so they could get ready to serve the Lord.
Who Was the One Who Really Wanted His Head?
The story goes that Herod Antipas the ruler then was dining with friends and his stepdaughter, Salome, danced for him and the rest of the dinner party. He was so pleased with her dance he told her she could ask for anything she wanted, up to half his kingdom, and he would give it to her.
Over time her dance has been called the “Dance of The Seven Veils”. While some scholars say her dance portrayed the actual beheading of John, the bible does not substantiate that at all!
She asked for the head of John the Baptist to be delivered to her on a platter! Herod Antipas agreed and that’s how it happened. But, what you may not know is WHY it happened!
The Real Killer of John The Baptist
The real person responsible for the killing of John the Baptist is in fact a woman, but not the young girl who danced before her stepfather. Herodias, the mother of Salome, was the vindictive one.
She had originally married the brother of Herod Antipas and the man was lazy and without property or money. Herod Antipas was also married but he fell in love with Herodias. They both divorced their spouses and married each other.
Divorcing to marry her husband’s brother caused quite an uproar in the community. At that time is was against Jewish law. People were outraged that they would disobey their Jewish customs so blatantly.
While Herod Antipas was in love with her, it is suspected Herodias married him for position and money. By marrying him she became a Jewish princess!
Herodias Gets Even
John the Baptist was the leader of the opposition against Herodias and Antipas so she hated him with a passion! When she heard her husband offer her daughter anything she wanted, Salome was summoned and given her instructions on how to answer Antipas.
She plainly manipulates Salome into asking for the head of John the Baptist. You need to remember that Salome was still a teenager and very much subject to what her mother told her to do.
Herodias was evil through and through and used her own daughter and the love of her husband to commit this awful crime against John the Baptist.
How This Story Relates to Society Today
Have you ever noticed that when people do something they know is wrong, they are so quick to find someone else to lay the blame on? People back then and now find it hard to accept responsibility for their own actions.
Because of the strong feelings of anger this brings on people they react with violence instead of asking for forgiveness. If we, as Christians, don’t put a stop to wrongdoings the second we are under conviction, it becomes so much easier to keep doing things that go against the commandments of God.
God is a forgiving God and is waiting for us all to just come to Him when we have trials or temptations. He is just and fair and loves us more than we can ever fathom.
God Bless. I hope this story of John the Baptist has shed some new light on the subject for you. If you have anything to add or share, please feel free to leave it in the comment section so we can all learn together!