Who is John the Baptist?
Submit YOUR questions, through our easy to use form,
to our team of mature Christians known as the Email Evangelists!
Question: Who is John the Baptist?
Answer: He was of priestly descent and a Nazarite from birth. He was also born six months before his first cousin Jesus. His father, Zacharias, was a priest of the course of Abia and his mother, Elizabeth, was of the daughters of Aaron. Nazarites are separated from others and consecrated to God. Being a Nazarite, John the Baptist was required to:
- Not drink any wine or strong drink
- Refrain from cutting his hair
- Avoid the dead (Numbers 6:2-21).
He spent his early years living in a mountainous tract of Judah lying between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea (Matthew 3:1-12). During most of his adult life John the Baptist lived in the wilderness, away from the cities (Luke 1:80). His clothing was rough, and his diet was strict (Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6).
God called John to prepare the people for Jesus' teaching and ministry. His ministry began when he was 30 years old (26 A.D.) and started to diminish when Jesus' ministry began. He was put in prison by Herod Antipas for speaking out against his marriage to his sister-in-law Herodias. He was ultimately beheaded by Herod in the Spring of 29 A.D., just before the Passover. He was a type of Elijah, because he came in the same spirit and power. Notice what he says about himself in this regard:
"And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ."
"And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" And he answered, "No." They said to him then, "Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as the prophet Isaiah said." " (John 1:19-23, RSV).