Prove All Things: The Humility of John the Baptist

How do today’s religious leaders stack up?

Oil painting of John the Baptizer

Oil painting of John the Baptizer

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.

~ Jn 1:19-23

John denied:

  1. That he was the Christ
  2. That he was Elijah
  3. 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.


One Comment

  1. John D,

    You asked: “How do today’s religious leaders stack up?’

    When it comes to Elias vs. John the Baptist no religious leaders today stack up…especially when one goes back and reads all of the context surrounding the things John said/done to “prepare a people (to become sealed Firstfruits of God’s Church) for the Lord.

    I believe GFlurry and DPack claim to be some type of Elijah, but Jesus Christ may have already answered the question concerning an Elijah to come, but what either of them men prepared any people for? John the Baptist, under the inspiration of God’s Spirit (Zech 4:6), accomplished so much compared to any religious leaders living today.

    While Jesus was alive we have the following conversation between Him and His disciples:

    Matthew 17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
    11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
    12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.

    Jesus, long before the fulfillment of any “Day of the LORD” said that “Elias is come already, and they knew him not.” John the Baptist was murdered and so was Jesus Christ, but did the disciples, some approx. 2,000 years ago, get the point of understanding the identity of that Elias to come?

    “Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.” Matthew 17:13

    But who really believes that the disciples finally got the point enough to really understand John the Baptist was “the man” that Christ had in mind?

    Looking for another Elias today is like looking for the prophesied “10 kings” of Revelation 17 while being ignorant of the timing for such events.

    Regarding Elias, Jesus said that Elias is come already……..and the disciples understood that Jesus was speaking of John the Baptist.

    Who will believe Jesus’ report: that is, Jesus’ and the disciples’ account there in Matthew 17? Once upon a time, for about 2 decades, I did not believe it.


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