Whenever I hear the story in the gospel of Mark of how Herod was convinced (evidently against his will) to consent to the beheading of John the Baptist, I wonder what the girl and her mother hoped to gain by this manipulation. I mean, of course it had the immediate effect of silencing John’s tongue forever, but had that not already been accomplished by his arrest and imprisonment? Herod, of course, could have had John imprisoned for the rest of his life had he chosen to do so. But maybe the story isn’t about any of that at all. Perhaps it is just what it seems to be … a depraved story about a depraved man driven to a hideous act of senseless violence against a good person because of guilt and lust.
Have you ever noticed that this is the only story in the entire gospel of Mark in which Jesus does not appear? Jesus is not present and depravity reigns.
Do you think, perhaps, that Mark is trying to tell us something?