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The Imprisonment of John the Baptist
Herod Antipas Puts John the Baptist in Prison
Herod the tetrarch knew that John was a righteous and holy man, and he guarded him. He had heard that John was doing a great many things, and Herod gladly listened to him. But then John told Herod that it is not lawful for him to marry Herodias, the wife of his brother Phillip. Heriodias was bitter towards John and wanted to have him killed, but she could not because Herod was afraid of John, since John was a righteous and holy man.
Herod was afraid of John, but he wanted to protect him, and he would often listen to John and obey. He was even amused at times by John.
Herod wanted to kill John but was also afraid of the people because he knew that John was a holy man and was doing a great many things and he heard him gladly. Herod also knew that the people accepted John as a prophet.
Even though Herod was rebuked by John concerning his brother's wife and all the other evil things he was doing and he wanted to kill John, instead, he had John arrested and put him in prison.130
Herod’s prison was part of the government headquarters, the Caesarea prison in Herod’s Judgment Hall, apparently where Paul was later held for two years.131 We believe this is the location where John was imprisoned because when Herod later told his executioner to bring him the head of John the Baptist in Chapter 66, he left and immediately returned with the head. Nevertheless, Josephus wrote that it was in the Herodian palace Machaerus in Perea (Antiquities 18.5.2). Caesarea is on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, while Machaerus is just north of the Dead Sea near the eastern border of Israel.
This same Herod Antipas played role in Jesus Crucifixion (Chapter 178).
Mark 6:17 – 20; Luke 3:19-20; Matthew 14:3 – 5.
131. Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1986.
Jesus Preaches Repentance, the Gospel and the Plan of Salvation
When Jesus heard that John was arrested and put in prison, He left Judea in the power of the Spirit for Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God saying that all the Bible prophesies concerning him had come to pass; the time is fulfilled for Him to come to earth130 and the kingdom of God is now at hand. Repent and believe in the hope of salvation. The people must believe the gospel and repent."131
Can you imagine what God's Son said during an entire day when the people crowded around Him to see the miracles and hear His teaching? Suppose when you go to church next Sunday and God's Son is preaching from sunup to sundown. What do you think He would say? Perhaps it would be something like this, but indescribably better:
"It is your commission to redeem the ungodly. The world does not understand the curse and the blessing that awaits them. You must let them know. Show them the sweetness of your walk with me. Then let them see the destruction that comes with the self-righteous, clean-appearing false life. Those headed for destruction believe that they are saving the world from destruction. This will be their belief when they try to destroy me, that they are doing it for the good of the world; but I go to a place that they cannot enter. Know this as you let them see me working in you. I will make miracles without you even knowing it. Just love me and keep your thoughts on me. Your job is to rest. I am the Lord who performs all good works. I do not fail.
"The enemy will try to take everything from you. Can Satan defeat God? Can a cripple outrun a runner? You are on my team. You are playing against the handicapped. Enjoy the race, and watch them stumble. If you walk with me, you will understand. They walk in darkness and they are blind. Love your enemies and show them the light. Then they will walk with you.
"My Father planned your life from the time He created the Universe. You are written in His book. Is anything more important? Is it worth it to lay awake at night worrying about earthly problems? Where are your priorities? Would it not be more productive to worry about heavenly problems? Where your treasure is, that is where your heart is. Do not concern yourself about the end times; concern yourself about the forever times. Do you want me to care about every hair on your head? Then forget the world and walk with me, for the kingdom of God is at hand. As far as the East is from the West, that how is how far your sins, your earthly cares, your earthly desires are from Me. Talk with me in the Spirit. Love me as I love you. That is all I ask.
"Look at the stars. Why are they singing out there? Their singing is creating vibrations that bring health, harmony, peace, love and joy to your life. They are singing praises to God.
"Look at the sun. Why is it radiating? It is singing to the Father with joy. That is the source of its energy. The sun has love and adoration and praise for the Father. The sun's radiance causes the flowers on earth to grow. When the rain comes down, it laughs with joy as it trickles in rivulets into the ground. Then the flowers shout out praises of exuberance and glory to the Father. The sun gives you life. Then you radiate success. And successes will come as your life brings radiant life to others. Let all the universe praise the Father and follow me. That is the key to success. No man comes to the Father, except through me. When I hear your praises, I will give you all things.
"Do not tell lies, cheat, steal, commit adultery, covet what others have and do not worship anything but the Father. You must love everyone and everything.
"Life is not trials and tribulation. That is death. Life is to love and enjoy everything. Trials and tribulation come by hating. Hatred is not from the Father. Love is life and hatred is death. Come out of the darkness into the light. Enjoy your trials and tribulations, and watch them melt away. God does not suffer. Out of the Father comes joy and vibrancy of life.
"Listen to the birds sing. Watch the flowers express their praises to the Father. Taste the flavor of live things, not dead things. They are all dancing and singing and shouting praises to the Father. Be like the flowers and the birds and the water and the good-tasting foods. Praise the Father with your whole heart. Tell the world of all His wondrous works. Then your troubles will glitter like diamonds in the snow. Laugh at your troubles. Enjoy your troubles, as they bring you closer to God. God is the Healer and the Solver of Troubles. Trust in Him and do good things. You are God's child, and He has loved you from the beginning. Know this as you dance and sing your way through life. Believe the gospel and repent of your sins. For the time of your salvation is here"
"I love you. I love you more than any human loves another. I love you so much that I came to be sacrificed for your sins that you might enter the kingdom of God, which is coming soon.
"If you will only love me and follow me, I will heal your diseases, I will mend broken relationships, I will take care of your financial problems, but even more important, I will justify you to my Father, to enable you to enter His kingdom, which is coming soon.
"If you love me and follow me, I will never leave you nor forsake you. You will think I have forsaken you. Every time you turn your back on me and do things without me, you will think that I have forsaken you. But whenever you repent and come back to me and seek my face, I will be there, waiting.
"What is the purpose of life on earth? The purpose of life on earth is to prepare you for life in God's kingdom. In God's kingdom, there is no hatred, no fighting, no stealing, no lying, and no coveting what does not belong to you; there is only love. God is a spirit. But He manifests Himself through the material universe that He created. How embarrassing it is to the Father to see those whom He created manifested with fighting and bickering, greed and self-righteousness. Oh, that you would love one another that the Father might be perfect in you.
"My Father does not waiver. That which He has promised, that He will accomplish. When someone insults you or hurts your feelings, there is no purpose in rebuttals. They are only met with more rebuttals, hatred and improper actions. Take your troubles to me, and I will be your advocate with the Father. He will resolve them. Your task is to rest. Enter into your Sabbath, which is every day of rest.
"You are my love. Concentrate on me. Love me as I love you, and love your neighbor as I love you. Then the healing will take place. My Father's plans are completed before they begin. Give praise to My Father before all men. This alone will bring His plans into reality. Lean not on your own understanding, neither doubt that My Father's plans are for you, for your blessing, for you to be a light for others."
Who can imagine what God's Son said as He spoke from sunup to sundown? His words were full of love and compassion and concern for what would happen to the people. And the time to tell them was short. If what He actually said had been written, it may have been one of the greatest books ever written, as well as the Bible. Yet it is only a few sentences in the written word.
130. All the
Old Testament prophesies foretelling the coming of Jesus were then fulfilled.
131. Matthew 4:12; Luke 4:14; John 4:3; Mark 1:14–15.
Paperback by Robert Laing:
Theory - - Squeezing Common Sense Out of Science, Creation, Noah's Ark and Jesus
Another Web Site by Robert Laing: www.intelligentdesigntheory.info
Paperback by author available: Little Thinkers -- Squeezing Common Sense Out of Life's Toughest Questions
This book in paperback: History of Jesus Christ the Human God