As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, I have read and learned a lot about our Savior. While teaching our primary class with my husband a couple of Sundays ago I realized that I do not know much about Jesus’s cousin, John the Baptist. The kids in primary were very enthralled with his story from birth to death and as I had the opportunity to learn more about John and his mission this past week in my institute class, I thought that I would share some insights.
The question that was presented in class was this, “What are the reasons many people would rejoice over John the Baptist’s birth and mission?” As I was pondering and studying this question both in the first chapters of Luke and in the bible dictionary, I came across the following:
John was sent to fulfill the mission of Elias, which was to “turn the hearts of the children to their fathers.” (v. 17) John did this by baptizing many and teaching them about Jesus Christ’s coming. He even baptized some of Jesus’ disciples (Bible Dictionary p. 174) and baptized the Lord himself. He fulfilled the prophecy of going before Christ and was described by Christ himself as the “greatest prophet” and was a great light to all who were around him. So why would people rejoice over such a man’s birth and mission? The reasons are often overlooked and under-admired, but his prophesies and obedience prepared hearts for the coming of the Savior, he fulfilled prophesies while being full of humility, and he was and is the perfect example of a follower of Christ.