Message # 710
Unlikely Likeables: John the Eccentric
Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.
The patience of parents is often tested during their children’s teenage years. But what if that teenage child never
grows out of his or her eccentric ways and becomes a young adult who just doesn’t seem to fit in? That was the challenge
faced by the parents of John the Baptist.
The angel Gabriel appeared to John’s father, Zacharias, and told him of the special role his son would have. He would
bring “joy and gladness” in the role to which God would call him, but his role would be different: He would be
like Elijah the prophet as a forerunner to the coming Messiah (Luke 1:13-17). Prophets were a breed apart in Israel, often
living lives of exclusion and even danger. When John entered into the fullness of his ministry, he lived in the wilderness
and wore a prophet’s garb and ate strange foods. At some point, John’s parents were forced to let go of their
child and let him fulfill God’s call.
God’s creation is filled with uniqueness and variety. Surely that applies to those called to serve Him as well.
Conformity to the world can be overcome by nothing but conformity to Jesus.