14 King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some said, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.” 15 But others said, “He is Elijah.” And others said, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 16 But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” 17 For it was Herod who had sent and seized John and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because he had married her. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death. But she could not, 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.
21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 For when Herodias’s daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.” 23 And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.” 24 And she went out and said to her mother, “For what should I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.” 25 And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26 And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. 27 And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison 28 and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
IV. Sin is devastating because it has disastrous results. (vv. 27-29)
As we have observed the effects of sin in Herod’s life we can clearly see that sin is devastating. It distorts your thinking. It leads you to do disgusting things. It forces you to violate your conscience. Finally, in vv. 27-29, we will see that sin is devastating because it has disastrous results. These verses tell us what happened after Herod violated his conscience, “And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.” After being trapped by his wife, Herod sent his executioner to John’s cell with orders to bring back his head. And this is exactly what happened. The girl got John’s head on a platter and took it to her mother. She finally had what she wanted.
It is important that we notice just how disastrous the result of Herod’s sin was. First of all, it was a gruesome thing to cut of a man’s head. Just think about how disgusting that would have been. Secondly, John was dead. There was no taking back this sin. Once Herod commissioned John’s death there is nothing that he could have done to take it back. This is illustrated by the fact that John’s disciples came and laid his body in a tomb. Even if Herod had felt guilty afterwards there was nothing that he could have done to change what happened. John’s head was with Herodias, and his body was in a tomb. Thus the results of Herod’s sin were gruesome and final. It was disastrous.
This was true with Herod’s sin, and it is true with all sin. So many times we get caught up in the lure of sin, and we forget about the results. However, sin always has disastrous results. There are numerous illustrations of this: King David; Killers in Prison. Additionally, the bible teaches that sin ultimately leads to spiritual death (Romans 6:26; Ephesians 2:1). In fact, the results of sin are so disastrous that Jesus had to come and die on a cross in order to redeem us.
Everything around us screams out that the results of sin are disastrous, and yet usually pay no attention. We get so caught up in the sin that we forget about the disastrous result. This is what happened to King Herod, and look at what happen.
Before we close out our look at the sin of King Herod I want to jump forward to an event that occurred a few years after the death of John the Baptist. I want to look at the last time that this Herod is mentioned in the bible. We find this reference in the book of Luke. In Luke 23 Pilate sent Jesus over to Herod (because he did not want to deal with the problem). Luke 23:8-11 tells us what happen when Jesus was brought before Herod:
When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate.
Here we see the ultimate proof of sin’s devastation. Because of His sin Herod rejected the only One that could possible save him from his sins, Jesus.
Sin is clearly devastating:
- Sin is devastating because it distorts your thinking. (vv. 14-16)
- Sin is devastating because it leads you to do disgusting things. (vv. 17-18)
- Sin is devastating because it forces you to violate you conscience. (vv.19-26)
- Sin is devastating because it has horrible results. (vv. 27-29)
My prayer for all of you is that you will understand how devastating sin is, and you stay away from it. If you are a Christian this means that you will continue to follow Jesus, and depend on the resources He has given you to gain victory over sin. If you are not a Christian this means that you must turn to Christ to be forgiven of you sins, and consequently given the resources to battle sin.