Mark tells us more about the death of John the Baptist than any other gospel writer, because he sees John as Elijah, the great prophet who announces the Messiah and thus makes clear that Jesus is that Messiah.
Once again, people are wondering who Jesus is, and Herod’s guesses at the start of the passage are all wrong.
So, Mark’s purpose in telling this story is that his readers understand Jesus more clearly, and that in drawing the parallel with John’s death, he makes it clear that the Messiah too will suffer and die – not the kind of Messiah people would have been expecting.
Herod Antipas, the king in our story, digs a hole for himself and must follow through or lose face. The hints about his marital relations make it clear what kind of king he was. Jesus, in talking about the kingdom of God, gives us a wholly different picture of a king.
This leaves us with the question, who rules in our life and what does that mean for the way we lead our life?
Today’s thought comes from Derek