In a sense, one could say that John’s mission in life was to introduce Jesus as God’s promised Messiah, the hope of all the ages. But who would have ever thought that God would have chosen a man like John the Baptist for this task? To say that John was “unique” would be an understatement. He was a “wilderness man,” a man who from childhood had lived “in the wilderness until the day he was revealed to Israel” (Luke 1:80).66 He wore clothing made of camel’s hair and ate locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:4). His message was not polished, but blunt and to the point. Rather than receiving all who would come, he verbally attacked some of those in his audience. And yet this was the man whom God had chosen to introduce His Son, the Messiah.
Whatever some might think about John, no one would dare to deny his success. Almost in spite of himself, John attracted large crowds.