Who was John the Baptist?

Here's the answer:

John the Baptist had a very special job—introducing Jesus to the Jewish people.

"He will bring many of Israel’s people back to the Lord their God. And he will prepare the way for the Lord" (Luke 1:16–17a).

A short time before Jesus was born, an angel visited a man named Zechariah and told him that Zechariah’s wife, Elizabeth, was going to have a baby. Zechariah wouldn’t believe it at first—his wife was too old to have a baby! But sure enough, the angel had told the truth. Elizabeth got pregnant and eventually gave birth to a baby boy.

There was something special the angel had told Zechariah about this baby. The baby’s name would be John, and he would be the one to get people ready for Jesus. God had promised many years before that He would send Jesus to earth to take our punishment for sin by dying on a cross. But before He died, Jesus would have a ministry, which was a period of three years where Jesus would heal people and teach them about God. John’s job was to tell people that Jesus’ ministry was starting soon and help them to understand they were sinners who needed Jesus.

When John was old enough to do this special job, he decided to live in the wilderness. He dressed in clothing made out of camel’s hair, and his food was locusts (yes, bugs!) and honey. While he was in the wilderness, he told people that Jesus was coming soon. He told people they were sinners, and baptized anyone who was sorry for their sins and believed Jesus was coming.

Even though Jesus already came to earth and died for our sins, we can tell people about Jesus just like John did. We get to tell the story of how Jesus died to take the punishment for our sins and how He rose again three days later. Everyone who believes in Jesus and chooses to follow Him will go to heaven to be with Him one day. It’s such exciting news that we should share it with others!

Bible Truth

You can read some of John the Baptist’s story in Luke 1:5–25, 57–80 and Mark 1:1–8.