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What was John the Baptist’s role?

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?... Luke 3:7

            John the Baptist began to stir up hearts in the people.  First he attacked the hard hearts developed over the years by the Pharisees.  They all became religious people, forgetting about a relationship with God.  Then John preached truth, telling them to get their acts straight, stop stealing from people or be cut out of the picture.  He opened up the possibility that tax collectors and Roman soldiers could even be saved if their hearts were right.

            Many suspected John was the Messiah, but he took the opportunity to point to another who was coming soon.  John created anticipation for the Messiah promised in the Old Testament prophecies.  Finally, someone had to baptize Jesus and who better than John.