Saturday, April 22, 2017

John- The Man Who Lived in the Desert

By Mary Vee
Matthew 3
Mark 1
Luke 3

From John the Baptizer's Notes

Photo by Mary Vee - Desert near the Jordan River
My name is John. I live on my own in the desert.

My father was a high priest. His name was Zachariah. He and my mother, Elizabeth, didn't have any children for the longest time. 

This is the funny part. When an angel visited my father in the temple and told him he would have a son, my father didn't believe him. They were really old, way past the time when people have children. No one ever had a child this late in life except, maybe, Abraham and Sarah.

Any way, when the angel saw my father didn't believe the news, the angel said he would not be able to speak until I was born! Unfortunately I didn't get to see that.

My father came out of the temple with a weird look on his face. The priests asked him what happened and he couldn't answer. For nine months my father couldn't speak. When my parents took me as a baby to the temple to give me my name, my father suddenly spoke.  

Photo by Mary Vee - The Jordan River
Yeah, I like that family story, too. Since then, weird things kept happening to our family.

My parents took care of me through my childhood, but not long after I chose to go out on my own and live in the desert. I had learned a lot from my father. He expected me to become a priest like him. I spent long hours learning the Scriptures and their meanings. I couldn't have asked for a better father.

The older I grew, the more I saw problems with the government and the priests. In my heart, I felt truths about God. What I saw in the government, the people living in the cities, and what the priests said and did caused me to want to live away from them in the wide open desert. I learned to eat the desert's food. Roasted locust and fresh honey. I didn't want a fancy house or special clothes. What I wanted was to be with God.

Terrible things happened in my country. The Romans had control over our land. 

During the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar's rein, Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea  which was near Jerusalem, Herod was the tetrarch of Galilee in the north, his brother, Philip, was tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis to the northeast, and Lasagnas was tetrarch of Abilene to the far north.

Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests.

At this time, the word of God came to me while I walked in the desert. I was given a message by God to tell all who would listen. I went to all the country around the Jordan River and preached to any who listened telling them they should stop doing evil. If they did, they would be forgiven for their sins by the God of heaven. For those who did, I baptized them in the waters of the Jordan River as a witness to everyone they had turned from evil and chose to follow God. 

The words I was told to speak are the same ones in the Scriptures which God told Isaiah the prophet to write.

Come back for the next story.


*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary

*Jewish Virtual

*My research in Israel.

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