John, the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, became a prophet when he grew up. Jehovah used John to teach people that the Messiah was coming. But instead of teaching in synagogues or in towns, John preached in the wilderness. People came from Jerusalem and all over Judea to learn from John. He taught them that to please God, they needed to stop doing bad things. After listening to John, many repented of their sins, and John baptized them in the Jordan River.
John lived a simple life. He wore clothing made of camel’s hair and ate locusts and wild honey. People were curious about John. Even the proud Pharisees and Sadducees came to see him. John told them: ‘You need to change your ways and repent. Don’t think that you are special just because you say that you are children of Abraham. This does not mean that you are children of God.’
Many came to John and asked: ‘What do we need to do to please God?’ John told the Jews: ‘If you have two coats, give one away to a person who needs it.’ Do you know why he said that? He wanted his disciples to know that to please God, they must love people.
John said to the tax collectors: ‘Be honest and do not cheat anybody.’ He told the soldiers: ‘Do not accept bribes or tell lies.’
Priests and Levites also came to John and asked him: ‘Who are you? Everyone wants to know.’ John said: ‘I am a voice in the wilderness, leading people to Jehovah, just as Isaiah foretold.’
People loved what John was teaching them. Many wondered if John was the Messiah. But he told them: ‘Someone much greater is coming. I am not good enough even to untie his sandals. I baptize with water, but he will baptize with holy spirit.’
“This man came as a witness, in order to bear witness about the light, so that people of all sorts might believe through him.”—John 1:7