Church of Christ
Locks Cross Roads
1) Matthew 14 - The Death of John the Baptist
The Death of John the Baptist (Matthew 14:1-12)
       a) His imprisonment occurred near the beginning of Jesus' ministry - Matthew 4:12
       b) Some time later, John sent two of his disciples to Jesus - Matthew 11:1-3
       c) Eventually he was beheaded by Herod - Matthew 14:1-12

The sadness of the story, though, is tempered by the contrast between John and those responsible for his death.
       a) A remarkable contrast between a godly man and a depraved family
       b) A contrast that certainly provides several object lessons, encouraging godly living.

       1) His message was a call to repentance - Matthew 3:1-2
       2) He called the religious leaders to repentance as well - Matthew 3:7-8
       3) Nor did he back away from pointing out the sins of the king - Matthew 14:3-4
               a) Herod had married his brother Philip's wife, Herodias
               b) It was an unlawful marriage, for several reasons:
                       1) Philip was still living, making it adultery - Romans 7:1-3
                       2) She was Herod's niece, making it incest
                       3) The Law prohibited marrying a brother's wife - Leviticus 18:16, Leviticus 20:21
       4) Rather than change his message to accommodate the king, John was willing to go to prison and ultimately
           die for the Word of God!

       1) To be true to God's Word, even when not politically correct
       2) To proclaim God's law on marriage, even if it angers others
               a) God's law on marriage goes all the way back to the creation - Matthew 19:4-8
               b) Christ defined the one circumstance when one may divorce and remarry - Matthew 19:9
               c) Therefore not all marriages are "lawful"; there may be times when we must tell one: "It is not lawful for
                   you to have her" - Matthew 14:4

       1) She was the daughter of a shameless woman - Matthew 14:6
       2) From the Greek, Robertson describes her dance as "some kind of rapid motion. . . a shameful exhibition of
            lewd dancing"
       3) She danced this way, not just before Herod, but his guests as well - Mark 6:21-22.  Such shamelessness is
            condemned as lewdness.  It is condemned as a work of the flesh - see Galatians 5:19-21.

       1) She was the subject of John's rebuke to Herod - Matthew 14:3-4
               a) She had been married to Philip, Herod Antipas' half brother
               b) Herod had been married to the daughter of Aretas, an Arabian king of Petraea
               c) After Herod had been a guest in Philip's home, he and Herodias eloped while still married to their
               d) At some point they married, for which John rebuked them - Mark 6:17-18
       2) In her vengefulness
               a) She prompted Herod to imprison John - Mark 6:17-18.  She wanted to kill John, though temporarily
                    prevented from doing so - Mark 6:19.
               b) She prompted her daughter to ask for John's head on a platter - Mark 6:22-25

       1) Son of Herod the Great, we see his weakness manifested by:
               a) His superstition, supposing Jesus to be John raised from the dead - Matthew 14:1-2
               b) His unfaithfulness, in leaving his first wife and marrying Herodias - Matthew 14:3-4
               c) His fear of the multitude and John himself, which prevented Herod from killing him at first - Matthew 14:5
                   and Mark 6:20.
               d) His manipulation by Salome and Herodias - Matthew 14:6-8
               e) His fear of his guests, before whom he was afraid of ridicule - Matthew 14:9
       2) His weakness eventually led to his death
               a) For Herodias later prompted him to join her in appealing for favors from Caesar
               b) But they were accused of high treason and banished to Lyons in Gaul, where he died in great misery.
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