Over the last two weeks we covered much about John the Baptist. His parents Zechariah (aka Zachariah or Zacharias) and Elizabeth (the cousin of Mary the Mother of Jesus) were well advanced in age and Elizabeth was barren. We have seen in our past studies on Saria and Hannah, also barren, that God used this to carry out His purpose for His glory.
Little is known about John’s childhood. However, Scripture tells us that both his parents “were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.” Zechariah would teach John in accordance with Deuteronomy 6, keeping in mind Deuteronomy 6:7 (ESV). “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” John learned from an early age not only the commandments and statues of the Lord, but of his calling to be the forerunner of the Messiah.
We left this past Sunday with the ministry of John, “A Voice Crying in the Wilderness.
“John’s lifestyle was different in every way. He trained and began his ministry in the unpopulated Judean desert. One may imagine this place to be very odd to announce the coming of the Messiah to the royal courts. Yet everything had its purpose. “John claimed to be the true messenger from God, but was not like the well-mannered, soft-spoken, and richly adorned Pharisees and Sadducees.” He wore an uncomfortable camel’s hair cloak with a plain leather belt. His diet consisted of wild honey and locusts. This was a metaphor and stinging rebuke to the leaders of Israel’s religious leaders. John’s behavior followed the Old Testament prophets before him. He had not been called to dress and act as he did but did so to draw people away from the liturgically dressed hypocrites leading the people to hell. As I previously mentioned, John was not like the soft-spoken Pharisees and Sadducees. His words were true, but he did not hold back. This must have been known to the crowds that heard about him and went out to the desert to hear him preach.
What happens next? Glad you asked. See you this coming Sunday, November 11th, 9:15 AM.