How do today’s religious leaders stack up?
The above portrait of John the Baptist/Baptizer is probably a bit more realistic than most artists’ conception of Jesus. Actually, John’s hair was likely longer, as he was a Nazarite. Jesus, however, was a Nazarene, which means He lived in Nazareth, and that is something completely different. A Nazarite took a vow to not cut their hair or partake of anything from the grape vine (even the skins). In addition, there were specific instructions to stay away from alcohol and the dead.
What I don’t get is why do so many “religious” paintings involve partial or even total nudity? It’s difficult enough to select from religious art without the distractions of immodesty. Since John died a martyr’s death, the selections can be even fewer in number.
If John were alive today, what would his ministry look like? Would he glory in the concepts surrounding what he represented?
In a sense, his ministry will occur again. OK, so John himself won’t continue it, but as a figure of the Elijah to come, his ministry and attitude bear marking.
For example, did John run around taking on titles to himself? Did he boldly proclaim himself as acting in the spirit of Elijah?
19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?
20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
- That he was the Christ
- That he was Elijah
- That he was “that prophet” spoken of by Moses
Again, we do not see him taking on titles and names, even the very one that was prophesied about him!
What did he claim? That he was “the voice”! John did not even acknowledge himself as a prophesied person but merely a disembodied “voice”!
Contrast that with the pride of those who claim to be “Elijah”, “Joshua”, and so on.
It is not yet clear who the end time Elijah is, but it should be quite clear who it is not.