John the Baptist (died c. 29) Grows Despondent in Prison

[ABOVE—“Beheading of John the Baptist,” by Rogier van der Weyden [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

Jesus compared Herod Antipas to a fox. John the Baptist fell into that fox’s jaws for speaking against his degenerate behavior. Like his predecessor Jeremiah, John was not idle in prison but continued to speak with his disciples and to explain truth to the King who had imprisoned him.

Mark 6:17-20

For Herod himself had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her. For John had said to Herod, “It is not legal for you to have your brother’s wife.” Therefore Herodias had a grudge against him, and would have killed him; but she could not because Herod respected John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and paid attention to him; and when he listened to him, he did many things, and listened to him gladly.

Bedbug Bible Gang: Just John The bedbugs share the story of one of their favorite people from the Bible: John the Baptist. You’ll hear about Zechariah’s Surprise, Weird John, and Jesus Takes a Bath.

Just John

Imprisoned below ground (as it is thought) John seems to have become despondent. His faith may even have faltered.

One of the great dangers of imprisonment is depression, and the men of the Bible were as prone to it as anyone else. To be torn from the open air and every day scenes, to be forced into idleness or tedious occupations that chafe the mind, are burdens not easily bourn, especially by men of an active disposition. For John the Baptist, who had wandered the wilderness and proclaimed the Gospel to thousands, prison must have been a heavy burden. Perhaps he longed for the expected ascendancy of the Messiah which would liberate him. As we know, Jesus did not claim the throne of David in those days. Little wonder then, that John began to question the validity of Christ although previously he had testified regarding him.

Luke 7:19-23

And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, “Are you the prophecied one? or should we look for someone else?”

When the men had come to Him, they said, “John Baptist has sent us to you, asking, ‘Are you the prophecied one? or should we look for someone else?’ ”

At that time Jesus cured many people of their infirmities and illnesses, and of evil spirits; and he restored sight to many who were blind. Then Jesus answered them saying, “Go your way, and tell John what you have seen and heard; how the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the Gospel is preached to the poor. And blessed are all who won’t be offended in me.”