This passage shows us that this Herod lived under the guilt of having killed John the Baptist because of an ill placed oath. Upon hearing of the ministry of Jesus and all that was happening in his territory he was convinced that John had come back from the dead. Herod had been intrigued by the message of John but unwilling to act upon it, repentance was beyond him. But a sense of guilt for present sin will feed off of the sins of the past if not dealt with and Herod paid the price. Aside from getting caught up in the intrigue that surrounds the life of Herod Antipas this is the lesson to learn for this story. Herod was unwilling to repent when God offered him the occasion through the preaching of John the Baptist. This would have freed him from the guilt of his sinfulness. Instead Herod lived with that guilt once it had been revealed.
There are seasons in our life when God speaks, revealing areas in our life that need dealing with and if we don’t take action the results can be far beyond what we imagined.