But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee.  For when Herodias's daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.”  And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.”  And she went out and said to her mother, “For what should I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.”  And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”  And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her.  And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John's head. He went and beheaded him in the prison  and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.  When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
(Mark 6:14-29 ESV)
And I have to admit, I don't totally get it either.
All I could come up with was that Herod was so pleased and happy and he made a promise and had to stick to it.
Kings have rules they have to follow and if they swear to something, come what may, they need to follow through.
And so, he made a promise to a girl.. a little girl who would need her mom's advise and her mom hated John the Baptist and took advantage of the moment.
And sometimes it happens in grievous manners.
John the Baptist died over a party, and pride, and hatred.
Sin can be very ugly at times.
This was one of those ugly times.
BUT I pointed out to my boy. Did you see how the people who cared for John came and cared for his body? They didn't run away in fear. They came and took his body away and treated him well? The ugliness of that sin of Herod could have scared the disciples, but it didn't. Their love shone through.
My ever so practical lad said "But mom.. John wouldn't have known. He was dead. He didn't care anymore."
"But God knew my lad. And THEY knew. So that's why it matters."
And so my son learns more of how love is expressed and that is a good thing.