“feared.” Better than “was afraid of” here because there is an element of holy awe with the fear. In Hebrew, the two most common words for “fear” are the noun yare (#03373 יָרֵא) and the verb form of the same word, yir’ah (#03374 יִרְאָה). In Greek, the common words for fear are the noun phobos (#5401 φόβος) from which we get the English word “phobia,” and the verb form of the same word, phobeō (#5399 φοβέω). Both the Hebrew and Greek words for “fear” have a large semantic range, a large range of meanings, that includes our English concepts of “terror, dread, fear, timidity, respect, reverence, and awe.” Herod was somewhat afraid of John, but at the same time was in awe of him.
“liked to listen to him.” The Greek we translate as “like to” is hēdeōs (#2234 ἡδέως; pronounced hay-de-ōs) and it means with pleasure, with delight, gladly. This shows that people can hear the Word of God taught and enjoy it, but not have it change their lives (see commentary on Mark 12:37).