In his darkest hour he questioned if Jesus was the One who was to come, or whether there would be another. The desert setting may underscore the stark nature of John's message or may be symbolic of Israel's struggle in the desert. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. The axe is laid to the roots and God will thoroughly purge his threshing floor ( Matt 3:10-12 ; Luke 3:9 Luke 3:17 ). Indeed, Luke says that John came "in the spirit and power of Elijah" ( Luke1:17 ). In daring disregard of the divine laws, Herod Antipas had taken to himself Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip; and when John reproved him for this, as well as for other sins, ( Luke 3:19 ) Herod cast him into prison. Salem Media Group. He lived in the desert wilderness, ate locust and wild honey and preached a strange message. We even know about him from outside the New Testament. He spent his early years in the mountainous tract of Judah lying between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea ( Matthew 3:1-12 ). Also there appears to have been an early tradition that John had been raised from the dead ( Mark 6:14-16 ). Rather, he targeted all of his efforts toward obedience. Similarly, upon arriving in Ephesus, Paul encountered about a dozen disciples of John. John the Baptist was a Jewish forerunner of Jesus who baptized believers for the imminent coming of Judgment Day. He was the greatest born among women because he had the privilege of pointing to the Lamb of God ( John 1:29-34 ).Yet as the last great prophet of the pre-Christian era, he was the least in the kingdom of God ( Matt 11:11 ; Luke 7:28 ). Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. John's special office ceased with the baptism of Jesus, who must now "increase" as the King come to his kingdom. John the Baptist was sent by God as a messenger to prepare the way in the hearts and minds of the people of Israel for the coming of their Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: “There was a man sent from God whose name was John. In the spirit of Elijah, he preached a message of repentance and baptism. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. They too had only experienced the baptism of John ( Acts 19:1-7 ). Through God's direction, John the Baptist challenged the people to prepare for the coming of the Messiah by turning away from sin and being baptized as a symbol of repentance. As was the case with Jesus, his birth was meticulously recorded ( Luke 1:5-25 ). Unlike Jesus, he expected people to come to him, rather than he going to them ( Matt 3:5 ). The birth of John preceded by six months that of our Lord. John the Baptist is the prophet born to a priest named Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth: But the angel said to him, “Fear not, Zacharias, for your prayer has been heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John” (Luke 1:13). He taught that judgment is at hand. The Jewish historian Josephus even refers to John by this designation ( Antiquities 18.5.2). And finally, the psychological and sociological analysis of John is of interest here. He clearly understood that he had been set apart by God for a purpose. John's parents are Zachariah and Elizabeth (who is called the cousin of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus.) was of the priestly race by both parents, for his father, Zacharias, was himself a priest of the course of Abia or Abijah, ( 1 Chronicles 24:10) and Elisabeth was of the daughters of Aaron. His entrance into the world was marked by angelic proclamation and divine intervention ( Luke 1:57-80 ). All of these characteristics portray John as a fiery prophet proclaiming the apocalyptic message of God. In Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 4:5, John's coming was foretold. Apollos was from Alexandria in North Africa and at one point knew only of the baptism of John ( Acts 18:24-25 ). He conducted his ministry with an eschatological authority that demanded immediate action. also John 1:6-9 ; John 3:27-30 ). Who is “John” (John 1:19)? In fact, when Herod (who beheaded him) heard about Jesus he said 'John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.' At length he came forth into public life, and great multitudes from "every quarter" were attracted to him. How did Jesus view John and what did John make of Jesus' ministry? John's birth not only parallels that of Jesus, but echoes the momentous occasion of the birth of Isaac to Abraham and Sarah ( Gen 17:15-22 ; 21:1-7 ). In Luke 7:28, Jesus declared John the Baptist to be the greatest man to have ever lived: "I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John ...". On them, therefore, he enjoined charity and consideration for others. ( Matthew 3:5 ) Many of every class pressed forward to confess their sins and to be baptized. John was to become the God-ordained messenger proclaiming the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

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