John the Baptist

September 5
Mark 1:1-8

A preacher with camelhair clothes?

When the time came for Jesus to start His ministry, the Holy Spirit led His cousin John to the desert where he lived on locusts and wild honey, and he wore clothing made of camels’ hair.

Crowds went out to the desert to hear the word of the Lord. John told the people to turn from their sins so they would be forgiven. Those who owned up to their sin and asked for forgiveness, he baptized in the Jordan River.

He said to them, “There is someone coming after me who is more powerful than I am—someone whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

Why did John go live in the desert?

You may have heard people say that they can see and feel God by getting close to nature.

The peaceful mood of the beautiful countryside can help us feel close to God. However, this is not because God lives in the things He created, but rather, because the wonders of nature can help us to see how awesome God is.

Although a desert (or wilderness) may not be your idea of a beautiful surrounding, at least it is quiet out there. You would be excused for thinking that the desert is a strange place to preach to people, but here are possible reasons why John went there:

He preached in the desert because that’s the way God said it would be (Isaiah 40:3-5).

John wanted to get away from the noise and busyness of the city to hear God’s voice clearly in his heart and mind.

It was a good place for the people to hear John’s message. Because they had walked so far to get there, they weren’t likely to leave the moment John said something they didn’t agree with.

Verse for today

"See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me.” Malachi 3:1a