Murdering the Prophet

I read an interesting book about John the Baptist and the author dropped a bombshell: John was killed by Herod not because of pressure from Salome, but at the instigation of none other than the Prince of Peace Himself, Jesus.

Supposedly, the only one standing in the way of Jesus making a claim for the throne was John, his cousin. A titillating and scandalous theory, for sure, but does it really stand up to scrutiny?

Now if I were going to grab a throne, I wouldn’t be worried about a crazed hermit in the desert spending his days bathing people. No, I would be worried about the King already on the throne and the occupying army of the Romans. And Jesus seemed quite hesitant to take the throne anyway, continually telling people His kingdom was not of this Earth but in heaven.

For someone trying to stir up the populace to grab the throne, His behavior does not make sense.

Nor would His instigating the death of the Baptist.

Herod, on the other hand had a better motive to out the prophet. So, too, did his wife and her daughter. I can see no need to go laying the blame on someone else’s doorstep.

Admittedly, there are probably intrusions in scripture that came later. (Most scholars agree that the anti-Jewish sentiments came later as no one in their right mind would blame the Romans, unless they had a death-wish. The Romans were not too keen on having people stirred up against their overlordship.) But I can think of no reason to doubt the stand Jesus took on grabbing the throne. It is far too consistent with His actions.

And having John murdered is not one of those actions.

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