The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
Do we get all our information from traditional, respectable sources? We should ask ourselves, would we have heard the voice of someone such as John the Baptist? How would John the Baptist have come across to us? Here are a few point of interest.
1. He had been miraculously conceived and was blessed with the Holy Spirit even before he was born. –Luke 1
2. Other than his righteous parents, he had no human teachers that we know of. –Luke 1:6
3. His early life was one of solitude in the desert where he grew spiritually. –Luke 1:80
4. He wore coarse camel hair, and ate locusts and honey. –Mark 1:6; Matthew 3:4
5. He didn’t consume alcohol. –Luke 1:15
6. He was likely a Nazirite who had never had a haircut. Godly men in the Bible were normally expected to have short hair as they were the “head” of their family and the express image of God (I Corinthians 11). The exception to that would have been men who had taken a Nazirite vow. The vow did not prohibit marriage, but it prohibited fermented products like alcohol and ritual defilement, and it involved not cutting the hair. We know he didn’t consume alcohol from Luke 1:15.
7. He knew scripture and he came on to the scene quoting it. — John 1:23
8. John’s ministry was one of repentance, and strong warning. — Acts 13:24; Matthew 3:1-3; Matthew 3:11-12; Mark 1:1-5; Luke 3:1-20
9. While John gave glory to Jesus as Lord and Savior, Jesus testified of John’s greatness as a prophet of God. –John 3:25-30; Matthew 3:3; John 1:6-8; John 1:24-28 Acts 13:25; Mark 1:7-8; Luke 7:28; Matthew 11:11-15
10. John’s ministry served as a complement, comparison and contrast to Christ’s ministry. –Matthew 21:23-32; Mark 2:18-20; Matthew 11:18-19; Luke 7:33-35