Matthew 14:1-12 John, Herod, And Herodias.
Of course, John being a biblical prophet, was a Presbyterian, but he was known for his emphasis on the message of repentance and baptism associated with this message. Matthew introduces John because Herod the tetrarch thought that Jesus was really John who was coming back to haunt him for murdering and beheading him. Evidently he did believe in resurrection (vv. 1-2 Cf. Mk. 6:14-29; Lk. 9:7-9). John called him to repentance for taking his brother Philip’s wife, which was not lawful (vv. 3-4 Cf. Mt. 4:12; Mk. 6:17; Lk. 3:19-20). John preached the law as a necessary prerequisite for his message of repentance, which was itself necessary for the salvation to come, and it was specific, being taken from the case laws and preached to a pagan ruler (Cf. Lev. 18:16; 20:21). It was only due to the fear of the crowd, that he did not execute him immediately (v. 5).
Herodias was “a daughter by an earlier marriage to Herod Philip. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, the daughter’s name was Salome and she later married another son of Herod the Great, Philip the tetrarch of Iturea and Trachonitus (Luke 3:1)” (NGSB 1529). Herod was ruled by pleasure, and not by the law of God, therefore he committed himself to a self-destructive course (vv. 6-7), and Herodias cared more about the wishes of her mother than the fear of God (v. 8). Being sorry means nothing when an oath has been taken (v. 9), and commands follow oaths, and the soldiers also put the authority of another, namely Herod, above the fear of God (vv. 10-11). Then out of respect for John, his disciples took John’s “body and buried it, and went and told Jesus” (v. 12). When people reject God’s law they become slaves to their own lusts, and they submit to godless authorities.