Picture if you will, the rugged man, clothed in animal skins and seated on the floor of a dark prison cell. His back is against the cold stone wall, his head back and eyes staring into the past. He is remembering earlier days; days of God’s provision, against all odds, when he lived off the desert surviving on a diet of locusts and wild honey – alone! But all the trials of such a solitary life were more than amply made up for in his close walk with God.
Such was the confidence that he had in Him that he used his powerful voice to declare all that he knew about his God. All the people from the cities round and about came into the wilderness to hear him, perhaps by their thousands.
He had a vision and a calling from God; and that was to point people to the ‘Promised One’. This was that which gave him his reason for living. This was his motivation. Can you imagine the joy he knew in his soul when his eyes caught sight of this very One coming to him – to be baptized? At last face to face the two of them spoke together, and this gracious young Man was baptized of John. What joy and wonderment this must have brought to him then, and what comfort to him then and there in his cell.
Back at the river he couldn’t help but declare to those who questioned his person and work that the Promised One was his joy and reason for living. It was his life’s ambition to elevate the Christ of God: