Matthew Introduces us to John
Hello, I’d like to introduce you my friend John, John the Baptizer. He comes from a priestly family, but I’ll let my good friend Luke tell you more about that later in his book. What you really need to know about John is that he’s a bit different. Kinda old school.
John was retro before retro was cool. Everyday he would dress up in his Elijah costume (camel-hair clothes and a leather belt) and do the whole Old Testament prophet routine. Not super popular with the ladies, but he did tend to draw crowds.
John And The Kingdom of Heaven
His message was pretty simple.
“Turn from you sins to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!”
Apparently Jesus had talked to his disciples about his cousin John before. John was who Jesus was taking about when he quoted Isaiah*.
“The voice of someone crying out: ‘In the desert prepare the way of Adonai! Make straight paths for him!'”
We don’t learn much about John from the Gospel writers beyond this. We do know he baptized Jesus later on in this chapter and we also know things didn’t end well for him, much like the other prophets of God.
Jesus Picks Up Where John Left Off
But we do know that once John is killed, Jesus picks up his message and begins to preach about the Kingdom of Heaven. So what is this mysterious Kingdom of Heaven? And why was it so important to John and Jesus? And if it was so important to them, why isn’t it as important to us? Isn’t that message Jesus sent his disciples out to preach? If you had 20 minutes to teach on the Kingdom of Heaven, what would you say?