On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted and had John beheaded in the prison.
When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.
John lived a life of devotion to Jesus from womb to tomb. He was the man who baptized Jesus and prepared the way prior to Jesus’ arrival. So it may have been expected that he would have been summoned to heaven or lived a long life.
Yet, while in prison John was beheaded. It’s probably safe to assume he then transitioned to heaven and glorious rewards.
Regardless of how committed and obedient we may live, there remains the possibility of unexpected failure, disappointment or even death.
When Jesus heard what happened, He went into isolation. Maybe to mourn, or to celebrate his homegoing. What He didn’t do was raise John from the dead as He had for others previously like Lazarus or the centurion’s servant.
With all that’s going on in today’s world, there’s no doubt how we might apply the power of God to some of today’s crises. Yet, our ways don’t equal His wisdom.
John had the ultimate hater coming for his head (literally), but Herod and the daughter failed to realize John also had the ultimate God of love ready to accept his soul. You, me and others can never have our days numbered when they aren’t doing the counting!