|John Baptist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Luke 1:80 records that John "grew strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel."
John lived in the wilderness on the banks of the Jordan. He went from place to place preaching and baptizing many for the repentance of sins. He knew he was appointed a mission from God. He was to proclaim the One on whom the Spirit descended in the form of a dove as the Lamb of God. He gathered a following and his disciples were looking for the appearance of the Messiah.
Did John have a sudden vision of Jesus as the Lamb? When he approached John and asked for the baptism, John protested recognizing the power already evident in Jesus, but Jesus saw this as righteous, and John agreed. When Jesus came out of the water the dove descended on him and John's faith was rewarded.
John got in trouble with Herod because he criticized him for taking his brother's wife. Herod finally put John in prison and executed him.(Matthew 14:1-12, Mark 6:14-27, Luke 9:9) Jesus paid tribute to John calling him the messenger who would precede the Christ and prepare the way for him.
John completed his mission, proclaimed Jesus as the Lamb of God, and paid a price for his faithful service. He is an example of service we would do well to follow.