At that time, Jesus’ name had become known, and the King Herod heard of it. Some said, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are at work in him.” But others said, “It is Eli’as.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” But when Herod heard of it he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” For Herod had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Hero’di-as, his brother Philip’s wife; because he had married her. For John said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” And Hero’di-as had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he was much perplexed; and yet he heard him gladly. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and the leading men of Galilee. For when Hero’di-as’ daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it.” And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give to you, even half of my kingdom.” And she went out, and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” and she said, “The head of John the Baptist on a platter.” And the king was exceedingly sorry; but because of his oath and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. And immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
The apostles returned to Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught.
1. At the beginning of this Gospel reading, what rumors were there about who Jesus was? Who did King Herod think Jesus was?
2. For whom had Herod imprisoned John? What had John said that Herod was doing that was wrong? How did Hero’di-as feel about that?
3. Why had Herod allowed John to live? What happened that changed that?
4. Why couldn’t the King spare John’s life after Hero’di-as’ daughter’s request?
5. Have you ever promised someone something and later regretted it? What did you do? What did Herod do? Do you think he regretted it?
6. Pray, and ask God to help you to only make promises that are wise, and that you can keep!