6 A man named John was sent from God. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning the light, so that through him everyone would believe in the light. 8 He himself wasn’t the light, but his mission was to testify concerning the light.
[Scripture taken from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.]
It would have been a much greater shock to Israel and the surrounding world had Yeshua arrived on the scene without announcement, without preparation. John was the ‘advance man’ for Yeshua. Actually John, himself, caused quite a stir. John’s success caused the religious long robes to check him out, hoping that he might be delusional and loose-tongued. No such luck for them. John clearly evaded their questions about his being Messiah, Elijah, or a prophet. John answered that he was a simple advance man, preparing the way. Little did even John realize that the one for whom he was preparing the Way would so radically change all pre-conceptions.
As it happened, John’s ministry was the launching pad for Yeshua’s radical turn of events. John overcame Israel’s inertia; Yeshua changed direction and moved at warp speed, reframing Israel’s theological and spiritual structure. And it all began with a dip in the Jordan River.