It is written:
Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him. 6 and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. (Matthew 3:5-6).
We have learned that baptism was part of the Old Testament system, and that the Jews before the time of Christ practiced a type of baptism where a person who was converting from another nation to the religion of Israel underwent such a baptism.
With this context in mind, it is not surprising therefore that we read of John the Baptist, who commonly baptized people as part of his ministry.
Who exactly was John the Baptist?
The Bible teaches us that John was related to Jesus by blood. John’s parents were named Zacharias and Elizabeth:
Luke 1:13-But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
Furthermore, Mary and Elizabeth were relatives:
Luke 1:36-Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.
The word translated here as “relative” is the Greek suggenes. The word is usually translated as “cousins” in most translations, and this seems the likely interpretation of the word here.
We also learn that John the Baptist had been sent by God to prepare people for Jesus:
John 1:6-8-There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
John 5:32-35-There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. 33 You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.