He Was No Diplomat

By Stan Mitchell
“Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey, (Matthew 3:4, ESV).
He spoke with the sound of the river as a backdrop, its waters rushing over the smooth stones. He stood on the river bank, his eyes as fiery as a flame, his words as clear and unadorned as the Jordan river itself. There was usually no mistaking what he was getting at, as refreshing as a baptismal plunge in the river.
He was no smooth operator with seminary training. He demonstrated the diplomacy of a wounded buffalo, looking straight into the eye of politicians and demanding that they, too, repent. Addressing religious leaders as “You brood of vipers” is not usually followed with the words, “OK, everybody, group hug!”
John the Baptist was homespun, rugged, and invariably, right. He spoke with the conviction of one who represented God himself, the certainty of one who understood the urgency of saying what was right and true. Brutal he may have been, but he must have seemed like a breath of fresh air, too. Crowds flocked to hear his messages, clear-eyed demands and all.
And his message is as true today as it was then. “Change your way of life! The rule of God is near!”
Are you ready?

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