The ministry of John the Baptist is the sign that the new thing that the prophets had longed for had arrived: this one who simply described himself as â€˜the voice of one calling in the desertâ€™ would not allow himself to be put in any messianic or prophetic category that might confuse his mission in the eyes of the community of Israel. The greatness of the One he was heralding needed a witness who would not get in the way of the revelation of the Son of God to Israel.
His ministry of baptizing with water could not be compared with the ministry of the One who would baptize with the Spirit. We need to hear afresh the confession of John the Baptist as he bears witness to the great Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! We need to know this Son of God upon whom the Spirit descends and permanently remains as the one true bearer and giver of the Spirit by which we too are empowered to bear witness to the truth.
John DUNKLEY BTh, Dip.Min. and Dip. Pastoral Studies. He is an ordained Baptist minister and has pastored a number of Baptist churches. He has also ministered at Westcare Baptist Mission - an inner city ministry and served as a voluntary Police Chaplain.