When Herod Antipas a heard about Jesus,
he said to his advisers, "This must be John the Baptist come back to life again! That is why he can do such miracles."
For Herod had arrested and imprisoned John as a favor to his wife Herodias (the former wife of Herod's brother Philip).
John kept telling Herod, "It is illegal for you to marry her."
Herod would have executed John, but he was afraid of a riot, because all the people believed John was a prophet.
But at a birthday party for Herod, Herodias's daughter performed a dance that greatly pleased him,
so he promised with an oath to give her anything she wanted.
At her mother's urging, the girl asked, "I want the head of John the Baptist on a tray!"
The king was sorry, but because of his oath and because he didn't want to back down in front of his guests, he issued the necessary orders.
So John was beheaded in the prison,
and his head was brought on a tray and given to the girl, who took it to her mother.
John's disciples came for his body and buried it. Then they told Jesus what had happened.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)