I’ve talked to you at other times about untimely deaths, and how, at times, God takes an innocent person.
We don’t know all His reasons, but we do know of instances where a person was taken, to save him or her from seeing
heartbreaking things that would happen in the future.
But I got another thought as I read Matthew’s account of the beheading of John the Baptist. John had
been put in prison because he told Herod the tetrarch that he should not have Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip.
Then he threw a party, and Herodias danced for Herod and his guests. She must have been a beauty, because
Herodias told her beforehand, that if Herod offered her something for pleasing them, to ask for the head of John the Baptist.
And sure enough, he did and she did.
Now remember…John the Baptist had been honored from before birth, to come before Jesus’ birth,
to tell the multitudes that the Christ would soon follow him, and would even overshadow him. He had become famous in a Godly
way, for his preaching. And so it could be expected that he would be freed after a time.
And so what did he think, as his dungeon door was clanked open, and a his jailer entered, carrying a sword?
Did it run through his mind that God would strike down the executioner, or that John would have a chance to tell him about
the Christ? What was his thought as the jailer raised the heavy blade over John’s head.
And in a moment’s time, Elijah, who had returned to earth as John the Baptist (Matt 17 12)…the
man that Jesus himself had said that none had been born that was greater than John the Baptist (Matt 11:11)…in a moment’s
time, in a cold prison cell, he was beheaded. My personal thought is that it was time for John’s many followers to recognize
the Christ, and move to him, for John’s reason for living was to prime the multitudes for fulfillment of the greatest
prophecy…the one every Jewish maiden hid in her heart…that she might be the virgin to give Him birth. John had
said, “He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30).
God has His reasons for taking little babes and great ministers. We may sorrow, but let’s not question
to the point of losing faith. Heaven is just sooner for them, than for us.