In Mark 6:14-29, the famous death of John the Baptist, we get a scene so absurd we might miss what’s right in front of us.

out of regard for his oaths and for the guests

When Herod went to see a therapist to justify killing John
Proper 10B  |  Mark 6:14-29

If he had had Charles Dickens to draw on, Herod might’ve described this as a Scrooge moment. He’s telling his therapist (while we’re reimagining our history) how scared he was.

Did you see a ghost? we imagine the therapist asking.

Herod stares at the ceiling, hesitating.

Well, no. I didn’t see him. But I knew he was coming for me.

The therapist notices the curious choice of words.

Why would he be coming for you? Do you know him? she asks.

Of course I know him! I had him killed! the words leap out. His ashen face and vacant stare reveal where his mind is going. Back, piece by piece, to that moment.

He starts with the justifications; those cascading events which made the end seem inevitable.


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