Wednesday, Nov. 9
In our Monday night men’s Bible study, we’re applying principles of Bible study to Bible passages. I found the study of John the Baptist in Mk. 1 very interesting. John lived in the desert, wore camel’s hair clothing and a leather belt, ate locusts and wild honey. Pursuing this with the help of commentaries, I learned that he was emulating the prophet Isaiah who had also lived in the desert—same clothing, same diet. Crude clothing was normal for desert people. Locusts and wild honey was the main diet of desert dwellers. Significantly, Isaiah was the prophet that prophesied concerning John the Baptist (Is. 4:3). The Jews in John’s time would have been well informed on this and they got the message: John was the one that Isaiah prophesied about. And all Jews would know that their Messiah was due to come very soon. John spoke of this in Mk. 1:7. No wonder they made the effort to cross the Jordan into the desert to hear his message. John’s ministry was not lost on the Jewish leaders, either. Apparently their position against Jesus was already established because John called them a brood of vipers doomed for destruction (Mt. 3:7-10). Right from the beginning, the Jewish leaders rejected their Messiah despite ample evidence. And, sadly, they led many from the truth over the span of Jesus’ ministry—but no doubt part of God’s plan to reach the Gentile world (Rom. 11).