To read the texts click on the texts: Ex 25:1,8-17; Mt 14:1-12
Herod who is 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 when Philip was still alive.
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, he promises her in a rash moment of drunkenness whatever she asks for. The girl is prompted by her mother to for the head of John the Baptist. Though grieved, Herod wants to avoid the embarrassment of not keeping his oath and commands that the girl be granted her wish.
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.
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