He's a wild man who dressed in camel hair and ate locust and wild honey.
Not a conventional kind of guy.
Yet, this John the baptist, who appears out of nowhere, it seems, leads guys and gals into the deep.
That is, into the spiritual life deep inside.
Although he seems to have lost his influence and power in church circles, John the Baptist is a mentor for men, especially, in his unusual ways of leading, healing, and helping usher in fresh air.
Today, I doubt that John would be welcomed into sanctuaries. He's much too different for people today. Anything and anyone different, these days, seems to frighten folks. Society has never recovered from 9/11's fear-enveloping posture that seems to choke life out of many.
Of John, Jesus, a contemporary, shouts:
"I tell you solemnly, of all the children born of women, a greater than John the Baptist has never been seen." (Matthew 11:11)
John gets things started for "the Way" and moves out of the way for one who is to come who is far more light, namely, Jesus. But, it takes a starter to get the ball rolling. John the Baptist did just that, and more.
John exits the stage for Jesus in a gentle way, but with a little help from Salome and her platter.
Social sin is attacked by John. The least are lifted up. Those oppressing others are to go!
John steers clear of temple-controlled religion.
John went by the river Jordan forgiving sin and shouting repentance.
The Jerusalem establishment goes out to check John's credentials, even orthodoxy (John 1:19).
He is a deep sort of guy. Culture today needs starters with depth to lead households, fractured families, and organizations that have embraced greed and corruption on the backs of middle class citizens of heaven and earth.
"I am just a voice. . ." John said. He cries out in the wilderness. Much like talking to a door, John knows who is is, however. He knows his role, and, has boundaries.
John has a freedom from himself, his ego, sufficient to get things started and get out of the way.
A deepr life, and inner morphing comes with Jesus, the way, truth, and life.
He excells at his job. But most are not Baptists today. Most are Christian even though it is a far cry from what Jesus brought centuries ago.