Servanthood runs in the lineage of John the Baptistꟷ a son of Aaron. I noticed a pattern about God’s servants…Without Eli, there’s no Samuel and without Elijah the prophet, there’s no Elisha. This order of things brings us John the Baptist.
The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough places smooth;
The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:3-5
In a generation when Pharisees loved money, attention and women, John the Baptist loved God and dwelt in the wilderness, eating honey and locusts (Matthew 3:4). With so much simplicity, the people believed John was a prophet, so much so, Pharisees were careful to say he wasn’t. Though his status was to “prepare the way for the Lord,” the Messiah came to him:
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”
But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:13-17
In a time when some leaders are willing to compromise their faith by watering down the message of the Gospel, John Baptist corrected individuals from high officials to average citizens seeking forgiveness. One day he corrected someone full of wickedness:
“Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. Because John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.
So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.”
And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her. So he sent and had John beheaded in prison. And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.” Matthew 14:3-11
John the Baptist had a sad ending but he will forever be remembered as the one crying in the wilderness. He was obedient to the call God assigned him, even unto death. Today, we can believe he is enjoying the glory of God in heaven.