An unjust imprisonment and a violent death, were the last fruit that John the Baptist reaped, in return for his labor. Like Stephen and James, and others, of whom the world was not worthy, he was called to seal his testimony with his blood.
Histories like these are meant to remind us, that the true Christian’s best things are yet to come. His rest, his crown, his wages, his reward, are all on the other side of the grave. Here, in this world, he must walk by faith, and not by sight; and if he looks for the praise of man, he will be disappointed. Here, in this life, he must sow, and labor, and fight, and endure persecution; and if he expects a great earthly reward, he expects what he will not find. But this life is not all. There is to be a day of retribution. There is a glorious harvest yet to come. Heaven will make amends for all. Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard the glorious things that God has laid up for all that love Him. The value of real religion is not to be measured by the things seen, but the things unseen. “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed.” “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” (Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17.)