Everyone has that weird family member. It is that odd uncle, overly abrasive aunt, or cousin with the socially out-there taste in everything. Every family has that overly political, contradictory, black sheep of the bunch. One of the theological facts about Jesus that I cling to is that He purposely was born a human. The fact that Jesus was 100% man and 100% God is a mind-blowing comfort. The Book of Hebrews discusses this idea that Jesus understands everything we deal with as mere creations of God. Amazingly enough, Jesus understood what it was like to have an odd family member.
Mary had a relative by the name of Elizabeth. In the Gospel of Luke, we can see that Elizabeth bore a son who would be used by God in an amazing way. Elizabeth had a son by the name of John. God’s plan for John was laid out in the Book of Isaiah. Isaiah 40:3-5 reads, “A voice cries: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’” John was born with one major mission to tell people about the coming of the Messiah (Jesus).
Even in the womb of his mother, John was super excited about all things Jesus. John became the fulfillment of God’s prophecy that a person would be the foreteller of the Messiah. In Matthew 3:3, God’s Word says, “For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’’” John fulfilled this prophecy with gusto, even earning the title “Greatest Man who had ever Lived” by our Lord and Savior Himself.
When you study John, he was a bit of an odd fellow. He ate bugs, wore weird clothes, and lived in the woods. His clothes consisted of camel skin. He seemed to get into heated arguments with the government. On the surface, John the Baptist was all the crazy family members rolled into one. However, if you dig a little deeper (cue “Princess and the Frog” soundtrack), you see that John was one of the most authentic Christ-followers ever to walk this Earth. John did not care about how society viewed him; he cared about being obedient to what God called him to do. There is a growing trend that Christians do not want to seem weird to the world. While I understand the notion of wanting to be relatable, the world will always view Christ’s followers as peculiar people. As Christians, I think we need to be okay with the notion that we are weird by worldly standards, but if we are going to be weird, we might as well be authentic in our walk with Jesus.