John the Baptist and Jesus


Thank you for joining us for Encounters with Jesus. Each week, we will hear a story from the Bible told from the perspective someone who encountered Jesus firsthand. If you would like to learn more about these charcters and their stories, you can read about it in the Bible. See: John 1:29; Luke 1:17, 76-78; Matthew 3:15-17



"The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’"





I was a miracle child. That’s what my parents always said. They loved sharing the stories around my birth, like any proud parents, I suppose. Still, it is pretty incredible! My parents were old—beyond childbearing years—like, OLD. There was an angel, Gabriel, and he spoke of specific prophecies that I would fulfill as a forerunner before the Messiah, “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” God had been silent with Israel for about 400 years. But with this news, God had broken the silence at last!

My dad, Zechariah, loved reminding me of the words God spoke through him about me—that I would, “go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give to his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God.” Dad never could finish that line without tearing up.

I was always certain about my purpose.

Because of this, my life looked a little different. Well, a LOT different. You could say I had a reputation for being a bit… intenseodd. But I was seeking God. I wanted to make ready the way for the LORD! We’re talking the Messiah! And I took that seriously. So, I watched and waited, and waited some more.

Now, my parents believed my cousin, Jesus, was the Messiah. And it wasn’t that I didn’t believe them. I mean, the times we were around each other growing up he seemed great. But the Messiah? I just didn’t know for certain.

But then yesterday I was at the river. It was pretty crowded because people were responding like crazy to my teaching about the Messiah and being baptized. And then I heard someone say my name. I turned to look, and it’s Jesus, my cousin, asking me to baptize him. This made no sense to me. I tried to say no, but he said it was necessary “to fulfill all righteousness.” He was so certain. So, I agreed to baptize him.

I’ll never forget what happened next. As Jesus came out of the water, the heavens opened! I saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove upon him, and God said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”

In an instant, I was absolutely certain the Messiah had come! And it was Jesus! I could hardly contain my joy! All those years of preparing the way, preaching, watching, waiting, and wondering… like, my whole life! And now that day was here. The Messiah was here!

And though nothing had changed, everything had changed!

The way for the Lord was prepared! And Messiah, Jesus, would bring “salvation through the forgiveness of sin, because of the tender mercy of God.” And the world would never be the same.