The truth can’t be killed

The beheading of John the Baptist

Gordie Jackson
2 min readApr 15, 2024
Photo by Michael Carruth on Unsplash

We have begun contemplating chapter 14 of Matthew beginning with the first twelve verses. It tells the story of Herod having John the Baptist beheaded.

It begins with Herod believing Jesus was John the Baptist resurrected. At the time John and Jesus aroused attention by their message. It seemed to be a message that flattened religious hierarchies and encouraged the people to experience God for themselves. Such a message will not only threaten the religious but the powerful. John, the forerunner to Jesus, had gained a reputation and a following. This meant if he said something it had influence. He had said that Herod’s marriage to Herodias was wrong. Herodias had been his brother Philip’s wife.

You might understand Herod was not best pleased with John and his opinion. He was thrown into prison. Then on Herod’s birthday, he got carried away and after seeing his wife’s daughter dance he said she could have whatever she wanted. Her mother appears to have whispered in her ear “The head of John the Baptist”. Herod not wishing to disappoint had John beheaded.

I knew a journalist who was shot dead for what he wrote so although this beheading is dramatic is not so dissimilar from our age. People may not like what you say. I may not like what you say. I may not like what you say if it is gossip but I may also not like what you say if it is a truth I don't want to hear. With my power, I may choose to silence you. Even should I the truth is likely to be uttered by another including my own heart.

What I see in this passage is that we are influenced. Of course we are but our concern must be when we are influenced away from what we know to be true. Here Herod was more concerned about keeping his reputation than keeping John alive. When am I more concerned about pleasing others than being truthful?

Recently I found myself acting in a way to match what I thought another expected of me. The truth was the other didn't expect it was me who wanted to impress.

Could it be that Herod learned from his lesson in that he did not arrest Jesus? He did question him before his death. You can think you have killed the truth when then it comes walking down the street.




Gordie Jackson

Speaks with a Northern Irish accent, lives in Hertfordshire, England.