6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
(John 1:6-8, King James Version)
John the Baptist
In the time of Christ there was no radio, television, or telephone to announce the visit of a dignitary, so it was customary to send someone ahead of time to announce their impending visit. It is still customary in some places to announce the appearance of each guest at a ball, or even to announce a guest who is making a social call.
From the prophetic Scriptures of the Old Testament, the Jews understood that not only would the Messiah come, but His coming would be heralded by the return of "Elijah."
5Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
6And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
(Malachi 4:5-6, King James Version)
What the Jews did not understand at that time was that John the Baptist was the "Elijah" from Malachi 4:5. John the Baptist was not the Light (the Messiah), but he was sent to announce the imminent presentation of the Light, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Look at the preparations God made to announce the coming of His Son. Centuries before prophecies had been made, and now God fulfilled those prophecies through the ministry of John the Baptist.
It seems hard for us to understand the unbelief of the people when so many prophecies had been made--prophecies that were familiar to the Jewish leaders. But, again, we have the entire Word of God laid out before us, giving us the entire picture. But, wait a minute, if that is true, how come there are not more believers in our day?
Only God can open a heart to receive Him. In the mean time, Satan is busy providing traps to keep the world from discovering the truth. Satan does not mind if we are religious; he just does not want us to be Christians! The Bible warns us of this in Mark 13.
21And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: 22For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
(Mark 13:21-22, King James Version)
We must pray for the grace of God to protect us against false religions which are all around us. We must also be diligent in keeping our relationship with Christ pure through regular Bible reading and prayer. In our busy life it is far too tempting and easy to neglect our personal relationship with Christ, often thinking we are already so close to God that nothing could tear us away.
While it is true that Christ, who saves us, also keeps us, we can save ourselves from much grief in this life caused by our wandering hearts. What an amazing God we have? God had a specific purpose for John the Baptist as a witness for Christ. What is God's purpose for your life?
God Bless You,