Herod and John the Baptist
Mark 6:14 And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do show forth themselves in him.
Herod feared John the Baptist and when he heard of the mighty works of Jesus, he thought he was John, risen from the dead. John had pointed his followers to Jesus, saying:
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
John 3:31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
Mark 6:15 Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.
Mark 6:16 But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.
Herod had done this horrible thing. The story is explained:
Mark 6:17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her.
Mark 6:18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.
John who was a prophet, spoke boldly the words that God gave to him. A true prophet must speak what God tells them to say. A false prophet may speak to please men and to be popular. Herod had taken his brother's wife for his own. The brother was not dead, this was a power move of Herodias, his wife.
Mark 6:19 Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:
Herodias, a Jezebel type of woman, wickedly desired to kill righteous John, Herod forbid it, so she would find another way later, through Herod's lust for pleasure. How many have fallen by satan's temptation to lust? How many follow a wife or husband above God?
Mark 6:20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly. Herod seemed to be a follower of John, an admirer, even if in secret. He knew he was from God. How many reading this secretly admire and follow God? Will you be bold for God, as was John? Will you stand for Jesus publicly, even unto death? If you will not follow Him or acknowledge him as Lord, do not fool yourself, you will not die for him. You are none of his and have already denied him. Stand up now for Jesus and he will stand for you, as he did when Stephen the deacon was stoned for his witness for Jesus.
Acts 7:54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.
Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and
Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
Acts 7:56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
Stephan was stoned to death and Jesus standing, observed his faithful witness. Stephen went to the presence of our Lord. Where will those go who deny the Lord?
Mat 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.