Who was John the Baptist

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    John the Baptist was the Forerunner of Jesus. His ministry was to prepare the way for Jesus.

    John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’ ” JOHN 1:23
    John the Baptist was a man who clearly understood his calling: He was to prepare the way for the Messiah. So when the time came for Jesus to begin His ministry, John willingly directed others to Him and allowed his own powerful ministry to take a backseat to Jesus.
    John was Jesus’ relative, and his own birth, like Jesus’, was foretold by the angel Gabriel (Luke 1). John grew up to be a prophet, living in the desert and dressing in clothing similar to Elijah’s (2 Kings 1:8;
    Matthew 3:4). He preached the message, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” – the same message Jesus would later preach (Matthew 4:17) after John baptized Him. Jesus held John in very high esteem, declaring that no man has ever been greater than he (Matthew 11:11). John’s ministry and his call for repentance were so widespread that years after his death he had followers as far away as Ephesus (Acts 19:1–5).
    As great as John’s ministry was, however, he always understood that his role was to point to One who was greater: Jesus. John knew that Jesus was so great in comparison to him that he was not even worthy to Luntie Jesus’ sandals (Mark 1:7).
    John met his death when he was thrown in prison for speaking out against Herod Antipas’s marriage to his brother’s wife. Herod’s wife eventually asked for John’s head on a platter, and Herod ordered that it be done.

    John modeled the attitude that all believers should follow as we point others to Jesus. We may be serving Christ in a way that is very powerful and beneficial to many people, but ultimately Jesus is greater than anything we are doing. The time may come for us to allow our ministry to be overshadowed or even replaced by other things Jesus is doing, and we should imitate John’s example and willingly allow that to happen.

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