|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:1-9 Christ sent his twelve disciples abroad, who by this time were able to teach others what they had received from the Lord. They must not be anxious to commend themselves to people's esteem by outward appearance. They must go as they were. The Lord Jesus is the fountain of power and authority, to whom all creatures must, in one way or another, be subject; and if he goes with the word of his ministers in power, to deliver sinners from Satan's bondage, they may be sure that he will care for their wants. When truth and love thus go together, and yet the message of God is rejected and despised, it leaves men without excuse, and turns to a testimony against them. Herod's guilty conscience was ready to conclude that John was risen from the dead. He desired to see Jesus; and why did he not go and see him? Probably, because he thought it below him, or because he wished not to have any more reprovers of sin. Delaying it now, his heart was hardened, and when he did see Jesus, he was as much prejudiced against him as others, Lu 23:11.
Verse 9. - And he desired to see him; that is, Jesus. The desire of Herod was gratified, but not then. He saw him the day of the Crucifixion, when Pilate sent him to Herod for judgment; but the tetrarch, weak and wicked though he was, declined the responsibility of shedding that blood, so he sent him back to the Roman governor. Here, in SS. Matthew and Mark, follows the dramatic and vivid account of the death of John the Baptist. St. Luke probably omits it, as his Gospel, or rather Paul's, was derived from what they heard from eyewitnesses and hearers of the Lord. As regards SS. Matthew and Mark, the latter of whom was probably simply the amanuensis of St. Peter, the awful event was woven into their life's story. It was most natural that, in their public preaching and teaching, they should make constant mention of the tragedy which so personally affected Jesus and his little company. St. Luke and his master, Paul, on the other hand, who were not personally present with the Lord when these events took place, would be likely to confine their memoirs as closely as possible to those circumstances in which Jesus alone occupied the prominent place.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Herod said, John have I beheaded,.... That is, he had ordered him to be beheaded, and which was accordingly done by the executioner; of which he had full proof, since the head was brought him in a charger, and which he delivered to the daughter of Herodias:
but who is this of whom I hear such things? such, wonderful things, such amazing miracles, as were done by Christ: he seems to have reasoned after this manner with himself, surely this cannot be John, for I have beheaded him! and yet who should it be? and whereas some affirmed, that it was John that was risen from the dead, he began to fear that it was he;
and he desired to see him: that he might be satisfied whether it was he or not; for he had had personal knowledge of John, and converse with him, and therefore, upon sight of him, could tell whether it was he that was risen from the dead, or not; but we do not find Herod had a sight of Christ, until he was sent by Pilate to him at Jerusalem; see Luke 23:7.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. desired to see him—but did not, till as a prisoner He was sent to him by Pilate just before His death, as we learn from Lu 23:8.
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