Some may have thought Jesus was John the Baptist risen from the dead, but as can be clearly seen by looking at Matthew’s account (Mat. 14:1-12) and especially Mark’s record (Mk. 6:14-29), Herod was convinced of this personally.
“Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him (Jesus): and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some that John was risen from the dead. And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again. And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.” —Luke 9:7-9
This illustrates Herod’s own conviction of the sin John had rebuked—his guilt and torment over his even greater sin of beheading John, and his fear of John and the God he represented.
“For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.” —Mark 6:20
As revealed in Mark 6:20, Herod once listened to John gladly. It is certain that John was preaching his favourite message of, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For Herod to hear him gladly, he must have been under deep conviction from God. And yet, just a few verses later, he granted his wife the head of John the Baptist!
Herod feared his wife and the opinion of others more than he feared God.
Herod was not as Festus, who told Paul he was mad for speaking of the resurrection from the dead. Herod knew the truth personally, was exceedingly sorry, and yet chose death—both John the Baptist’s and his own spiritual death.
Apparently, seen in this instance, Herod lacked peace after his fatal choice.
According to the world’s mentality, peace is the absence of problems. However, God’s peace is not dependent on circumstances. God’s peace is dependent only on God Himself who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8).
A Christian can have great peace even in the midst of terrible problems because his faith is in God.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” —Isaiah 26:3
Let God’s peace rule in your heart today. Trust Him.