The prophet Isaiah wrote that God would send His messenger, John, who would prepare Jesus for His ministry and the minds of the people to have a knowledge of Him. John was a voice crying in the wilderness telling people to prepare the way of the Lord and to make His paths straight.
John was a no nonsense preacher who did not mind hurting feelings or stepping on toes. I like his style because he told people what they needed to hear, not what they wanted to hear. Truth can pierce through the shell of lies that surrounds our daily lives.
John was not a man who wanted the attention on him. He was not about flash and pizzazz. He dressed in camel's hair and wore a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild honey. Not exactly Rolex watches, Armani suits, and caviar. He baptized people in a river out in the wilderness, not in a multi million dollar mega church. He preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He was teaching people that if they would change their ways, their sins would be forgiven. All those in the land of Judea and Jerusalem went to John and were baptized by him in the Jordan River. They confessed their sins.
When Jesus was ready to begin His ministry, He was baptized by John in the Jordan River. As soon as Jesus cane up out of the water, He saw the heavens part and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove. Then, a voice came from Heaven, "You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
The principles that John taught are the cornerstone of the Christian faith. If we change our ways and accept the One who came to die in our place, for our sins, we shall be saved forevermore. John baptized people to symbolize the old life dying. When raised out of the water, they were reborn, raised with Christ.
When we accept Christ into our hearts, Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us through the rest of our lives. God was pleased with Jesus. He is God's Son and He is perfect. When we become a Christian, we are adopted into God's family. We become one of His children. We please God when we follow in the footsteps of His holy Son and try our best to do as Jesus commands in God's Word.
John began a ministry that still exists to this day. He was a pillar of faith. He did not waver in his teaching of Christ. He did not care if the people got offended because of his message. He spoke the truth of God's Word. John ushered in God's new plan for mankind. No longer did man have to present endless sacrifices to God in order to cover their sins. Jesus was coming to pay for the sins of all mankind. Once for all.
There are certain churches and certain leaders in the churches who should search their hearts and get back to the teaching of God's Word. The world has turned away from the Bible. There are some who take bits and pieces of it and mold it to fit their agenda. There are others who do not use the Bible at all. They form their own opinions and their own religions.
We could all learn from John the Baptist. He put it so simply. Repent (change your direction, your mind), from your beliefs and the lifestyle you are leading. Believe in the Gospel (the message) of Jesus Christ, which states that Jesus came to earth from Heaven to die for our sins. He was crucified on the cross and God resurrected (raised) Him up three days later from the dead. Jesus is alive and sits at the right hand of God, awaiting the moment that He will return to earth to gather His church (believers), to live with Him. Forever.