John and Herod
Charles H. Spurgeon
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).
John sought no honor among men. It was his delight to say concerning our Lord Jesus, ''He must increase, but I must decrease'' (John 3:30). Yet, though John sought no honor of men, he had honor. For it is written, Herod feared John. Herod was a great monarch; John was but a poor preacher whose garment and diet were of the coarsest kind-but Herod feared John. John was more royal than royal Herod. His character made him the true king, and the nominal king trembled before him. A man is not to be estimated according to his rank but according to his character. The peerage that God recognizes is arranged according to a man's justice and holiness. He is first before God and holy angels who is first in obedience. He reigns and is made a king and a priest whom God has sanctified and clothed with the fair white linen of a holy life. Be not covetous of worldly honors, for you will have honor enough even from wicked men if your lives are holiness unto the Lord.
Let it be written on John's tomb, if he needs an epitaph, ''Herod feared John.'' Only there is one better testimonial that any minister of the Gospel might be glad to receive, and it is this: ''John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.'' He wrought no marvelous work that astonished his generation, but he spoke of Jesus, and all that he said was true. God grant that our Master's servants may win such praise.
My subject at this time does not lead me to speak so much of John as of Herod. I desire to have no Herod in this congregation, but I am anxious about some of you lest you should be like him. Therefore I will speak out of the tenderness of my heart with the desire that none of you may follow the steps of this evil king.
The Hopeful Points in Herod's Character
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