John, the harbinger, censures Herod for his wickedness. Herod sends him to prison in Machaerus. Jesus tells why God permitted the imprisonment of John*.
2 He drove his wife away from home that he might take as wife Herodias, the wife of one, a near of kin, a woman, like himself, immoral and unjust.
3 The city of Tiberius, upon the shores of Galilee, was Herod's home.
4 Now John, the harbinger, had left the Salim Springs to teach the people by the sea of Galilee; and he rebuked the wicked ruler and his stolen wife for all their sins.
5 Herodias was enraged because the preacher dared accuse her and her husband of their crimes;
6 And she prevailed on Herod to arrest the harbinger and cast him in a dungeon in the castle of Machaerus that stood beside the Bitter Sea.
7 And Herod did as she required; then she lived in peace in all her sins, for none were bold enough to censure her again.
8 The followers of John were warned to speak not of the trial and imprisonment of John.
9 By order of the court, they were restrained from teaching in the public halls.
10 They could not talk about this better life that Herod called the Heresy of John.
11 When it was known that John had been imprisoned by the tetrarch court, the friends of Jesus thought it best that he should not remain in Galilee.
12 But Jesus said, I have no need of fear; my time has not yet come; no man can stay me till my work is done.
13 And when they asked why God permitted Herod to imprison John, he said,
14 Behold yon stalk of grain to perfectness, it is of no more worth; it falls, becoming part of earth again from which it came.
15 John is a stalk of golden wheat; he brought unto maturity the richest grain of all the earth; his work is done.
16 If he had said another word it might have marred the symmetry of what is now a noble life.
17 And when my work is done the rulers will do unto me what they have done to John, and more.
18* All these events are part of God's own plan. The innocent will suffer while the wicked are in power; but woe to them who cause the suffering of the innocents.