1/3/15 Whatever Happened to Jesus’ Cousin John?

Tiberius Caesar has now been the Roman leader for 15 years, and has appointed leaders throughout the Roman world to rule under him.  Pontius Pilate is the governor of the region of Judea.  King Herod the Great and his son Archelaus are both dead, and Tiberius Caesar has broken the kingdom into 4 regions, each with its own king, or tetrarch.  Herod Antipas is king of the region of Galilee.  His brother Philip is king of 2 regions, Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysania is the king of Abilene.  The high priest in the Temple is Caiaphas, and he is assisted by Annas.  It is into this mix of rulers that John the Baptist comes to begin his work.  He has been living in the desert as a wild man, wearing clothes made of camel hair and living on locusts and wild honey.  Now, he hears the word of God, telling him it is time to start his ministry, baptizing people in the Jordan River and preparing people’s hearts to receive Jesus.  He travels throughout the region of the Jordan River and preaches a message of repentance, imploring people to turn away from their sinful lives and be baptized so that their sins will be forgiven.  This is to fulfill the prophecy Isaiah wrote, which speaks of John the Baptist as, “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.  Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

Luke 3:1-6, Matthew 3:1-6, Mark 1:2-6, Isaiah 40:3-5

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