Mark 6:17
For Herod himself had ordered that John be arrested and bound and imprisoned, on account of his brother Philip's wife Herodias, whom Herod had married.
Evil Effects of ViceDr. South.Mark 6:17
The Martyrdom of JohnAlexander MaclarenMark 6:17
The Reciprocal Revenge of WrongH. W. Beecher.Mark 6:17
Apostolic Labours and Their ReceptionJ. H. Godwin.Mark 6:7-18
CompanionshipDe W. S. Clark.Mark 6:7-18
Incumbrances to be AbandonedDe W. S. Clark.Mark 6:7-18
MissionariesE. Johnson, M. A.Mark 6:7-18
Mutual HelpMark 6:7-18
No MoneyJ. Morison, D. D.Mark 6:7-18
Preparations for PreachingA. Rowland, LL. B.Mark 6:7-18
The Apostolic CommissionR. Green.Mark 6:7-18
The First Mission of the TwelveH. M. Luckock, D. D.Mark 6:7-18
The Mission of the TwelveMatthew Henry, D. C. Hughes, M. A.Mark 6:7-18
ConscienceC. Hedge, D. D.Mark 6:14-29
Conscience Removes IllusionsA. Maclaren, D. D.Mark 6:14-29
Herod -- a Startled ConscienceA. Maclaren, D. D.Mark 6:14-29
Herod: the Disordered ConscienceR. Green Mark 6:14-29
Herod's ConjecturesT. Gisborne, M. A.Mark 6:14-29
John and HerodE. H. Chapin.Mark 6:14-29
John Baptist and HerodA. H. Currier.Mark 6:14-29
On the Character of Herod AntipasT. Gisborne, M. A.Mark 6:14-29
Remembrance of Past SinMark 6:14-29
Results of Herod's SinR. Clover.Mark 6:14-29
The Cause and Manner of the Baptist's DeathExpository Discourses.Mark 6:14-29
The Murder of the BaptistJ.J. Given Mark 6:14-29
The Sovereign Power of ConscienceH. Melvill, B. D.Mark 6:14-29
The Storehouse of MemoryA. Maclaren, D. D.Mark 6:14-29
A Soul's TragedyA.F. Muir Mark 6:17-29
The Hero's DeathE. Johnson Mark 6:17-29

I. FALSE STEPS. (Ver. 17.)

1. Unlawful relations.

2. Resisting the messenger of God.

II. CONFLICTING INFLUENCES. (Vers. 19, 20.) The fearless court-preacher and the woman he denounced. The messenger of Truth and the associate in pleasure and vice. Representative of the way in which evil and good incarnate themselves, and work upon the heart of every man. The temptation to which Herod was subject was great; but he was not left without moral witness and aid.


1. The instrument is in a sense self-prepared, coming as it does out of the very heart of moral complication and love of unhallowed pleasure.

2. Yet is it also chosen and armed by the evil one.

3. It is an instrument calculated to work insidiously, unsuspectedly, and yet surely and irrevocably. Who would imagine that a damsel would wield such tremendous destinies? The weakness of every man is thoroughly understood by the enemy of souls, and unscrupulously appealed to. The works of Satan are rather hidden than manifest.

4. The attack is made when the moral sense is drowned in sensual pleasure and excitement. Company, wine, the fascination of the dance, and the flattering of pride by the presence of the Galilean nobles. What importunity cannot secure, a skillful manoeuvre may attain by surprise. The end is gained, provisionally, in the royal offer to the maid; a concealed, implicit pledge of what is not at the moment realized. Indefinite promises like this are full of danger; they cover so many unthought-of possibilities, and carry with them the illegitimate show of obligation even with respect to things not contemplated when the promise is given. The moral sense which is insensible to real duties avenges its perversion by manufacturing fictitious obligations, and attributing chief importance to them. "Honour" is the counterfeit of morality in many minds. A promise made as Herod made his is foolish and wrong, yet it cannot bind its maker to the performance of a further wrong. If men were only a tithe as attentive to their vows to God as to their vain and boastful promises and challenges to one another, they need fear no consequences. We bind ourselves with our own ropes. It was a birthday on which Herod committed spiritual suicide. Many a parallel to this may be found in the lives of men.

IV. THE CATASTROPHE. The career of sin has been likened to playing the devil with his own loaded dice. The thoughtless word of Herod committed him according to his perverted sense of honor, and the sequel was already predetermined and inevitable.

1. In sanctioning John's death, Herod violated the deepest instincts of his nature, and rejected the voice of God.

2. Crowned a life of sin by a heinous and irrevocable crime.

3. (Humanly speaking) Destroyed his own hopes of salvation. His history henceforth is one of steady degeneration and ever darker crime. In many lives there are determining circumstances like this of Herod; they put mountains and abysses between the sinner and the God he has dishonored. "John the Baptist is risen from the dead;" "Whom I beheaded - John: he is risen," are discoveries which lighten not one whit the burden of his guilt, and bring no hope to his despair. They are the wails of a remorse from which has departed the grace and power of repentance. Yet is Christ greater than John, and able to save from even greater crimes than the murder of John, if he be but recognized and believed. - M.

For Herodias' sake.
The pleasures which chiefly affect or rather bewitch the body, and by so doing become the pest and poison of the nobler and intellectual part of man, are those false and fallacious pleasures of lust and intemperance. Nothing does or can darken the mind or conscience of man more. Could Herod have ever thought himself obliged by the religion of an oath to murder the Baptist, had not his lust and his Herodias imprisoned and murdered his conscience first? It seems his besotted conscience, having broken through the seventh commandment, the sixth stood too near it to be safe long. So that it was his lust obstinately continued in which thus darkened and deluded his conscience; and the same will no doubt darken, delude, and in the end extinguish the conscience of any man breathing, who shall surrender himself up to it.

(Dr. South.)

There is another point that should be brought out — the power which one nature has upon another, and the reciprocal revenge of wrong. When Herod ensnared his brother's wife, when he tempted her into adulterous abandonment of her husband and into unlawful intercourse with him, he was the aggressor and she was the partner; but when they were living in unholy concord she became the avenger, and her influence upon him led him into this infamous crime and this damnable cruelty. He destroyed her virtue, and she destroyed his manhood; and from that time to this how many have been destroyed by those who should have been their protectors, and who should have inspired in them purity and gentleness and forgivingness! Oh, what chance was there for sweet and wholesome water to come out of such fountains! But they rotted together and spoiled each other. How many times, if we could look into the secrets of the household, should we see the same work going on: a bad man lowering the tone of the woman that came to him pure and simple minded, destroying her aspiration, familiarizing her with vulgarity, urging all his influence and power to take away from her the fear of evil and wrong, and rather rejoicing as every barrier is broken down to bring her to his level! And how many men have been despoiled by hard, selfish, and ambitious wives, the man being simple-minded, and, on the whole, having right notions, and the woman perpetually employing the subtle arts of influence, persuasion, and fascination, and all of them in the direction of selfishness, and oftentimes in the direction of corruption and malignant crime!

(H. W. Beecher.)

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