Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
“It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody. (Mk 6:17-20a)
There is a cost to discipleship. Sometimes, the cost is extremely high. So high, in fact, that it might lead to forfeiting one’s life. That is what we remember today as we celebrate the Passion of John the Baptist.
John was the cousin of Jesus and the precursor of the Messiah. He prepared the way for Jesus by preaching a baptism of repentance.
John knew that his words were not always accepted by others; however, he did not care. He knew that the words he was given to speak were from God. He was not willing to say anything less than what was entrusted to him, no matter who the person.
One of the people he upset greatly was King Herod.
He told Herod that he should not be living with his brother’s wife, Herodias. This upset Herodias even more because John’s words appeared to be getting to her husband.
When she had her chance, she engineered the death of John the Baptist. That was because her husband was a weak, vain man who would not allow his pride to suffer.
John was beheaded in prison. You would think John had lost. However, John was the winner.
The truth always wins.
For John, eternity awaited.
We need to hold to the truth because eternity awaits us as well.
FAITH ACTION: In prayer today, ask God to give you the courage that you need to speak the truth at all times regardless of the cost.