At about this time, Herod, the regional ruler, heard what was being said about Jesus.
He said to his servants, "This has to be John the Baptizer come back from the dead. That's why he's able to work miracles!"
Herod had arrested John, put him in chains, and sent him to prison to placate Herodias, his brother Philip's wife.
John had provoked Herod by naming his relationship with Herodias "adultery."
Herod wanted to kill him, but he was afraid because so many people revered John as a prophet of God.
But at his birthday celebration, he got his chance. Herodias's daughter provided the entertainment, dancing for the guests. She swept Herod away.
In his drunken enthusiasm, he promised her on oath anything she wanted.
Already coached by her mother, she was ready: "Give me, served up on a platter, the head of John the Baptizer."
That sobered the king up fast. Unwilling to lose face with his guests, he did it
- ordered John's head cut off
and presented to the girl on a platter. She in turn gave it to her mother.
Later, John's disciples got the body, gave it a reverent burial, and reported to Jesus.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)