Who was John the Baptist? John was a forerunner of Jesus Christ who came to make people ready for Jesus Christ. He was a bright and shining Light who witnessed about the True Light which enlightens men. He came to prepare the way for the Lord by turning the hearts of children of Israel to the Lord their God. He prepared them by teaching, water baptism and by his testimony about the one who is coming, would baptize with Holy Ghost and Fire. He was filled with the Holy Spirit even from his Mother’s womb and walked in the spirit and power of Elijah. He is the Elijah who was to come before the Messiah.
Story of John the Baptist in the bible
|Parents of John the Baptist||Luke 1:5-25|
|Announcement of John||Luke 1:15-17||John 1:6-8|
|Birth of John the Baptist||Luke 1:57-80|
|Ministry of John the Baptist||Matthew 3||Mark 1||Luke 3||John 1|
|Ministry||Mat 3:1-6||Mark 1:1-8||Luke 3:1-6||John 1:15-16|
|Warning to non-repentant||Mat 3:7-12||Luke 3:7-9|
|Teaching to various crowd types||Luke 3:10-14|
|Confession about himself||Luke 3:15-18||John 1:19-28|
|Reproves Herod||Luke 3:19-20|
|Jesus baptism by John||Mat 3:13-17||Mark 1:9-11||Luke 3:21-22|
|Testimony about Jesus||John 1:29-37|
|Cast into Prison||Mat 4:12||Mark 1:14-15|
|Doubting Jesus as Christ||Mat 11:1-6||Luke 7:18-23|
|Death of John the Baptist||Mat 14:1-12||Mark 6:14-29|
|Testimony about John by Jesus||Mat 11:7-19||Luke 7:24-35||John 5:32-35|
|Luke 1:5-25,57-80||Story of the father, mother and the Birth of John the Baptist|
|Mark 1:1-8||John’s ministry snapshot|
|Luke 3:1- 23||Timing of the ministry, Baptism Ministry, Warning to the brood of Vipers, Teaching righteousness (to public, publicans, soldiers), Denial of him being Christ, Reproving Herod, Baptizing Jesus|
|Matthew 3:1-17||John’s Ministry Intro, Pharisees & Sadducees inquiry, John forbids Jesus, John Baptizes Jesus|
|John 1:6,15-37||Witness of the Light, John’s confession, John’s testimony: ‘Behold the Lamb of God’, ‘He is the Son of God’ who baptizes with Holy Spirit, Testimony to the two disciples Andrew and John(the Apostle)|
|John 3:22-36||John’s disciples question the Baptism ministry of Jesus, he replies, ‘Bride belongs to the Bridegroom’ and ‘He must increase But I must decrease’|
|Matthew 4:12-17||Mark 1:14-15 – John cast into prison and Jesus begins his Galilean area ministry|
|Luke 7:18-35||Matthew 11:1-19 – John enquiring if Jesus was the Christ, Testimony about John the Baptist by Jesus – John 5:35|
|Mark 6:14-29||Matthew 14:1-12 – Herod kills John the Baptist as he said it is not lawful to marry your brother’s wife. Therefore, Herodias had a quarrel against him and would have killed him.|
|Matthew 17:1-13||Jesus transfiguration where Elijah appears and Jesus confirms that John the Baptist was the Elias that was supposed to come and he had already come, and people killed him as they did not recognize him.|
Birth of John the Baptist
Events with the John the baptist Mother and Father
Luke 1:5-7 details about the parents of John the baptist. Zacharias was the father of John the Baptist and Elizabeth was the mother of John the Baptist. Zacharias whose name means “remembered by the Lord” was a priest of the course of Abia. Elizabeth whose name means “His Oath” was from the lineage of Aaron. So it meant “God remembers his oath”. These both were righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless but they had no children as Elizabeth was barren. God allowed several old testament women to experience barrenness to bring forth promised child: Mother of Isaac, Samson, and Samuel.
In Luke 1:8-25 Angel Gabriel tells Zacharias that his prayers are remembered by the Lord and he would have a child whom he should name as John which means “Yahweh is gracious”. Here Zacharias prayers are answered but he does not believe which means he is either no more praying about it or lost faith that God can give him child in this age. He was a priest who must have read scriptures where God has blessed old people also to have children, yet he did not believe even after appearing of an Angel, so he was made dumb. He returned home post his service in the temple as dumb man. As he could write, he must have told all these things to Elizabeth as she demands the child name to be John during the naming ceremony. Some may think it was wrong to bind his tongue but in Luke 1:63-66 we see his tongue gets loosed and because of that miracle this story gets across the country.
John the Baptist and Jesus
Elizabeth was a cousin of Mary as mentioned by Angel Gabriel in Luke 1:36. Angel tells Mary that her cousin “thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren”. So Mary visits Elizabeth and abode there until John the baptist was born as Luke 1:56-58 ‘they rejoiced with her’. So Jesus was a cousin of John the baptist and six month younger than him. Birth story of John the Baptist and Jesus had this pattern:
- Parents are introduced
- an Angel appears
- A sign was given and
- woman impossible to conceive does conceive.
John the Baptist is born
Finally, John was born and on the 8th day during child naming ceremony Zacharias receives back his tongue and they name him as John which means “Yahweh is gracious”. Zacharias then filled with the Holy Spirit prophecies by praising god and mentioning about a horn of salvation has been raised up in the house of David. And how the LORD GOD has saved us from our enemies so that we can serve him freely as promised to Abraham. Then prophecies about John and his ministry.
When was John the Baptist born?
John was born in April 2BC near Passover(April 29) in the 1st Century. This was calculated by scholars based on the service time of priest Zacharias who was of the division of Abia. He was of the 8th of 24 divisions of priests set by David in 1 Chronicles 24:7-18. Service is for a week, twice per year, 8000 priests in the land, 300 in each course and 56 chosen to serve each day. Based on the traditions of his birthday celebration, the date for the birth of John the Baptist is June 24, 2BC.
The childhood years of John are mentioned in Luke 1:80 “and the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel”. That was all that bible speaks about the childhood of both John and Jesus. That life is personal for them and is between them and their God. They are not yet anointed by God to minister therefore there is no big need to know from scripture standpoint to understand what happened during those years except how God prepares his children, which is described in Luke 1:80 and Luke 2:52. John 10:41 mentions that John had performed no miracle during his entire life(this was for those false scholars who messes around childhood of John and Jesus in the name of the Lost years of Jesus and John).
Ministry of John the Baptist
Launch into the ministry
When did John the baptist began his ministry? John the baptist began his ministry in year 29 AD. It can be calculated based on Luke 3:1-2 “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness”. His age when he began the ministry was 30 years as he 6 months older than Jesus. Jesus was of 30 years when he got baptized and began the ministry post his temptation in the wilderness – Luke 3:23.
Timing the Ministry of Jesus and John the Baptist based on Luke 3:1 and details of years of their offices:
1. Tiberius: Ruler of Roman Empire – 14 AD to 37 AD
2. Jesus’s Ministry began during the 15th-year reign of Tiberius – 29 AD to 32 AD
3. Pontius Pilate: Governor of Judea – 26 AD to 36AD
4. Herod the Great: King of Judea in 37 BC to 4 BC (died in 1BC. later unruled). Slew the children at jesus birth – Mat 2:16-18
5. Herod Antipas: Son of Herod the Great, Ruler of Galilee – 4 BC to 39 AD. He kills John the Baptist
6. Anna, the High Priest – 6 AD to 15 AD, removed by Romans authorities, but was still considered by Jews
7. Caiaphas, the High Priest – 18 AD to 36 AD.
Where did John the baptist began his ministry? John’s baptism ministry began in the wilderness of Judea (Mat 3:1, Mark 1:4) scripturally. This is near Dead sea and commonly known as Bethany or Bethabara beyond Jordan or just beyond Jordan. Later he would baptize in Galilee at Salim. He begin by preaching in wilderness and baptizing in Jordan river. Bethabara beyond Jordan is 20 miles from Jerusalem, from whence Jews sent priests and Levites to find the identity of John.
Here Jesus comes to his baptism, then goes for 40 days fasting. Meanwhile John gives the testimony in John 1:26 (there stand one among you at bethabara beyond Jordan, not the Bethabara of the north – John 1:28). Now Jesus is baptized as well as finished the temptation days, comes to that place again. And then John the baptist testifies about him to Apostle John saying ‘Behold the lamb of God’ and at second time on second day they follow Jesus to his place.
How did John the baptist began his ministry? John came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. He was the crying in the wilderness “prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight”. This was taken from Isaiah 40:3-5 where the context was smoothing way for the return of exiles from Babylon. John is preaching that to all, which means 1. to make yourself and other ready for the Lord who is to come, also be a free from burden of sin & law that by your free spirit you can easily receive the gospel and the man 2. Also in current times for gentiles it means to preach to them the gospel and don’t quarrel about other things, keep it simple & straight forward. He had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins and his meat was locusts and wild honey (dressed like Elijah as in 2 Kings 1:8).
Message of John the Baptist
What was the message of John the baptist? The initial message of both John and Jesus to the Jews was Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Repent means understand & accept your wrong and, in your heart desire & will not to do that anymore. This is critical as John 3:20-22 says “For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God”.
Response of John the baptist to the religious authorities: Jews from Jerusalem sent Pharisees (Priests, Levites) to find the identity of John. They were expecting 3 different people namely Messiah, Elijah (Prophesied to return in Mal 4:5,6) and That Prophet (The prophet of Moses Deut 18). John responded to them by denying him being anyone of those. So why John denied that he was not Elijah or Elias? Because he did not knew, else he would have told them. This we can understand from his character, he was blunt, bold, not a liar & neither cunningly smart (He reproves Herod & his evil deeds, why on the world get into that). And if everyone would have known it, it would have been tough for him to fulfill his destiny as they would have not let him die. Imagine those rulers find about him(as they were expecting him to come), then would have taken him away into mansions & work of God would have not fulfilled. Jesus affirms this in Mark 9:13 “But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him”.
What did John the baptist preach? Mark 1:7-8 says he preached, saying, “There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.”
Teachings of John the baptist: 1. Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand 2. I baptize with water but but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and Fire 3. Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance & god can create sons of Abraham from stones, to Pharisees (ritualists & legalists) & Sadducees (liberals, denied inspiration of word of God, don’t believe in resurrection – so sad) 4. To the People: He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise 5. To the Publicans: Exact no more than that which is appointed you 6. To the Soldiers: Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages 7. To the Disciples: Behold the Lamb of God. Post that he started preaching about Jesus of Nazareth to everyone – John 10:41.
John baptized: John’s Baptism Ministry
The baptism ministry of John the baptist was about Repentance and then as a confirmation to that, confessing their sins and immersion into water for cleansing of their sin. Some may ask that does not cleans sin, remember when we read gospels, we are still in the old testament law times, now how did in old testament Lord commanded about sacrifice of Lamb. So by faith in the future messiah, it becomes remission of sins and you get justified. Remember Jesus said one must be born of both Water and Spirit to enter into the Kingdom of heaven. Will have further detailed study about it later, but for now this was his baptism ministry. He performed no miracles or signs during his ministry (John 10:41-42).
The baptism of water was instructed to John by the Most High when he was in Wilderness (John 1:33 “he that sent me to baptize with water”). That brings to another question, who baptized John the baptist? The answer is he was not baptized, at least until Jesus was. Matthew 3:14 says “But John forbad him (Jesus), saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?”, the context here is water baptism (as the spirit has not yet descended visually). Also as per scriptures, John’s life & destiny was part of Old testament – Matthew 11:13. If not then this speculation would be right: John baptized himself in the wilderness when he was receiving instructions from the Lord, both as practice and righteousness to fulfill.
John the Baptist baptizing Jesus
John the baptist was baptizing in Bethabara. At that time came Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee to Jordan to be baptized of him. During the baptism it was the custom to confess their Sins and Jesus being without Sin had nothing to confess. At this John must have pondered in his heart to if he was the one to come and forbade him to baptism as he had no sin to confess for the baptism of repentance. But Jesus said “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness”, then john baptises jesus. This means he was identifying himself as a man and who was under the law, following the ordinances of the Lord God. Also as Jesus said “man must be born of water and spirit to enter into the kingdom of heaven”. For now limit it to that time, later we will cover the new water baptism (Eph 5:26) and how we are forgiven and justified based on faith in Jesus Christ, not by baptism, and we get baptized for a sign of dying with christ and rising up with Christ (Rom 6:3-4).
Now Jesus being baptized, and praying, went up straightway out of the water: and, behold, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending in a bodily shape like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice came from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. John bare record of this and understood that he was the one who baptizes with the Holy Ghost and Fire. The one who sent John to baptize had said to him “Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost”. And he testified that he is the Son of God. From thence he started preaching about Jesus and saying Behold, The Lamb of God – John 1:29-37, 10:41. By this testimony Andrew(brother of Simon Peter) and John the Apostle(Son of Zebedee, brother of James) started following Jesus.
John the Baptist death
Cast to prison & Doubting Jesus: Now John was cast into prison by Herod Antipas (in Machaerus fortress – Josephus) as John reproved him saying that it is unlawful to marry your brother’s wife. From that time onwards: Jesus started preaching in Galilee. It is believed that all this was done to fulfill his destiny of being killed as a Prophet and also killed as Elijah by Jezebel as in 2 Kings 19:2, which of course John did not knew. Later John started doubting if Jesus was the one to come and he sent his disciples to confirm that. John doubt might be because of his current situation (Mat 11:6) or because not everybody was accepting Jesus or because they were considering Jesus as Prophet but not as Son of God – Luke 7:16-19. So, his disciples came & asked Jesus to which he answered with how Power of God is working wonderfully among the people and the Gospel is being preached to the poor.
How did john the baptist die
Herod Antipas has cast John into prison but did not kill him because he feared people as they considered him as prophet. But when Herod’s birthday celebrations came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here head of John the Baptist in a charger. And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. And he sent and beheaded John the baptist in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus. This is how John the Baptist was killed and beheaded by Herod Antipas.
When did john the baptist die
Saint john the baptist died in 30 AD beheaded by Herod Antipas in Machaerus fortress. The date is based on Jesus ministry that began in Galilee post John was cast in prison. References are Josephus and Mark 1:14 “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God”. Neither the bible nor any historical records mentions the exact date of the death but he was 32 years old when he died.
Testimony about st John the baptist by Jesus Christ
Jesus confirms that st John the Baptist was the one who prepared his way and he was the Elias that had to come before his manifestation. Further, he added that there is no prophet greater than him who were born of women. Now in this world there were many greater than him but in the Kingdom of God he was the greatest because of his work for the most important person Jesus Christ. Now some may wonder at that, but understand that he was part of old testament prophets. Now all those who are believers in Jesus Christ, born of God and part taker of Christ ministry are greater in the kingdom of heaven.
Was john the baptist Elijah?
Yes, Jesus confirmed that John the baptist was the Elias (Elijah) who was to come in Matthew 17:10-13 “And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.”
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Bible Scripture verses about family and Birth of John the Baptist
Parents of John the Baptist and Zechariah’s Vision by Luke
Luke 1:5–25 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.
Birth of John the Baptist by Luke
Luke 1:57–80 Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; For he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us In the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, Which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, And from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, And to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies Might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, All the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: For thou shalt go before the face of the Lord To prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people By the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; Whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.
Bible scripture verses about the ministry of John the Baptist
John’s ministry snapshot by Mark
Mark 1: 1-8 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
John prepares the way of the Lord
Luke 3:1–18 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.
John’s Water Baptism for Repentance
Matthew 3:1–12 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Bible scripture verses about John baptizing Jesus
John baptizes Jesus and the voice from heaven
Matthew 3: 13-17 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Mark 1: 9-11 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Luke 3: 21-22 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
John’s Testimony about Jesus Christ the Son of God
John 1:6–37 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
Bible scripture verses about Beheading of John the Baptist
John cast into prison
Mark 1: 14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.
Matthew 4: 12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee.
John doubts if Jesus was the one to come
Matthew 11:1–6 And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
Luke 7:18–23 And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things. And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
John the Baptist gets killed by Herod Antipas
Matthew 14:1–12 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife. For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her. And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. But when Herod’s birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger. And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.
Mark 6:14–29 And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets. But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead. For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife. Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly. And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother. And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.
Bible scripture verses about who John was according to Jesus
Jesus’s testimony about John the Baptist
Matthew 11:7–19 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
Luke 7:23–35 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! But wisdom is justified of all her children.
John 5:32–35 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
Jesus confirms that John the Baptist was the Elijah (Elias) who was to come
Matthew 17:10–13 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
Mark 9:2–13 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid. And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves. And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead. And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean. And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come? And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought. But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.