Herod mentioned at the beginning of this story of the death of John the Baptist found also in Mark 6,14-29 is Herod Antipas and the son of Herod the Great mentioned in the Infancy narrative of Matthew (2,3). Though Matthew has taken this story from Mark, he shortens it considerably. Matthew’s reason for Herod wanting to kill John is the same as Mark, John had objected to Herod having married Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. In Matthew, unlike in Mark, it is not Herodias who wants to kill John, but Herod himself. When the daughter of Herodias (who is not named) pleases Herod with her dance on his birthday, she asks for the head of John the Baptist. After burying John, his disciples go and tell Jesus about what had happened.
It is not always easy for us to take a stand against injustice. Yet this is what this text is calling us to do. In the process on taking a stand we might become unpopular or sometimes the object of ridicule. The challenge is how much we are willing to risk.