With these instructions, Jesus sends out His 12 apostles to heal, free, and teach the people in the villages of Israel. While all of this has been happening, John the Baptist has been in prison, waiting to find out what his fate will be. (King Herod Antipas had him arrested and imprisoned for denouncing the king’s marriage to his former sister-in-law as an abomination before the Lord.) Herodias, the king’s unlawful wife, hates John and wants him killed, but King Herod is reluctant. He knows the people believe John is a prophet, and he himself tends to agree with them. He has heard John speak on a few occasions and has been intrigued by the messages John preaches. So King Herod decides that he will just keep John in prison as a compromise. But today is his birthday, and he doesn’t want to think about such things today! His party has just begun, and all the most important men of the region are gathered there for a feast. Everyone is reclining at his enormous tables, eating and drinking and having a marvelous time. There is music and dancing girls, the hall is decorated just the way he likes it, and anything he wants is readily available to him. Herodias sits beside him, enjoying the festivities with her husband, but plotting in her head at the same time. This might be the perfect opportunity for her to get rid of that troublesome preacher.
Matthew 14:3-5, Mark 6:17-21