And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead…
I. THE BEST PEOPLE OFTEN EXPERIENCE A HARD FATE. No garland of roses for the followers of Him Who wore the crown of thorns. Do not suppose from this that God is indifferent to goodness. He is with His people when they are in affliction, even more than at other times. The loss of material comfort is made up to them by a richer spiritual gain.
II. BAD KEN HAVE GOOD FEELINGS AND PURPOSES. The spiritual nature may be repressed and brought into bondage by sin, but it cannot be destroyed. Conscience and memory make themselves felt.
III. AN IRRESOLUTE MIND IN RESPECT TO GOOD IS THE CAUSE OF GREAT MISCHIEF. Herod was but the tool of Herodias. Although he did not originate the murder of John, he executed it. Without him it might not be done.
IV. THE DANGER OF DALLIANCE WITH SIN. Herod gladly listened to John, but would not obey him. Had he heeded the faithful prophet and put away Herodias, he might never have had the sin of murder to answer for. No safety in partial courses. We must not only hear, but heed the warning voice.
V. THE HAUNTING ALARMS OF GUILT. A Sadducee conjuring up a ghost — what a contradiction! No safeguard can protect a wicked man from the most absurd, but to him terrible, alarms. They spring up to poison his enjoyment in unexpected hours. Never again would Herod enjoy "a happy birthday." There is no misery more exquisite than that proceeding from an evil conscience. Think of it when proceeding to sin. This sin does not sink into oblivion, and nothing come of it. Committed, it becomes a pursuing vengeance. It assumes a dreadful voice and takes to itself feet, and, like a bloodhound, follows the evil-doer, baying frightfully on his track.
(A. H. Currier.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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 shew forth themselves in him.
WEB: King Herod heard this, for his name had become known, and he said, "John the Baptizer has risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him."