“Herod immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went and beheaded John in the prison.” Mark 6:27-28
Jesus knows how His followers can best serve Him. He sent the apostles out to teach and heal. John the Baptist, however–He permitted to be seized, to languish in prison, and to be cruelly beheaded. Just so, we should be willing to serve our Master in any way He desires. He may want us to give a long life to active usefulness–or He may want us to serve and honor Him by enduring persecution and being murdered.
The life of John seemed to be a failure. He preached only a few months! He was a great preacher, too, and hundreds went to hear him. It seemed to his friends a pitiful waste of life, an irreparable loss to the heavenly kingdom–when he was murdered. But John’s work was done. He accomplished all that he was sent into the world to do. There really was no reason for his living an hour longer. When one dies in youth, we are apt to deplore his death as untimely. But God makes no mistakes! “Every man is immortal–until his work is done!”
(J.R. Miller, “Morning Thoughts”)