John the Baptist vs. Jesus the Christ

It is very interesting to compare these two men – John the Baptist and Jesus Christ – by paralleling their lives.

-They lived at the same time.
-They were actually related by blood, and were basically the same age (minus a few months).
-The angel Gabriel announced both of their births.
-The religious leaders of their time, and even the political leaders, didn’t care for either one of them. They wanted these two dead.
-The people followed both of them.
Yet, there are distinct differences between them. They were as different as night is from day, as was their purpose in life.

“Let the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Acts 2:36

John the Baptist:
– called, “The prophet of the the Most High”,
Jesus Christ:
– called, “The Son of the Most High”.

John the Baptist:
– called the Messenger,
Jesus Christ:
– called the Word.

John the Baptist:
– was sent by God as a voice, a witness to the Light,
Jesus Christ:
– was sent by God as the Lamb, the Light of the world.

John the Baptist:
– as the child grew and became strong in spirit,
Jesus Christ:
– as the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom.

John the Baptist:
– grew up living in the wilderness, alone,
Jesus Christ:
– grew up in Nazareth, in a home, and in the temples learning,
– was led into the wilderness alone for 40 days to be tempted.

John the Baptist:
– baptized Jesus,
Jesus Christ:
– was baptized by John.

John the Baptist:
– baptized with water,
Jesus Christ:
– baptizes with the Holy Spirit and fire.

John the Baptist:
– filled with the Holy Spirit,
Jesus Christ:
– baptized by and filled with the Holy Spirit.

John the Baptist:
– claimed he was not the Christ,
Jesus Christ:
– a Voice from heaven, the angel Gabriel, Simeon, John, and demons all claimed he was the Christ, the Son of God.

John the Baptist:
– was a prophet,
Jesus Christ:
– the fulfillment of prophecy.

John the Baptist:
– the friend of the bridegroom,
Jesus Christ:
– is the bridegroom.

John the Baptist:
– ate no bread and drank no wine,
Jesus Christ:
– ate and broke bread, (was called the Bread of Life), and drank wine (he turned water into wine).

“Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2:6-11

Food for thought: John’s name in Hebrew means “Jehovah is gracious”. Jesus’ name in Hebrew is Yeshua or Joshua, and means “To rescue, to deliver”.

Fun facts: It is possible that Jesus and John knew each other before their ministries took off. Mary and Elizabeth were friends and relatives, and they didn’t live too far from each other. Besides, they all traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover each year, so maybe they saw each other then. If so, perhaps John still didn’t know that Jesus was the Messiah until he saw him at the Jordan river? It is fun to consider these things, but they ultimately don’t make a bit of difference in our faith.

Photo by: Javi Arji – Man in lake

  • Iraj says:

    It may come as a surprise to many that there is a group of people in the Middle East who are followers of John the Baptist. They are called Mandaeans and live in modern day Iraq and southern district of Iran. There number is estimated to be only a few thousands but they are very strict and determined to save their religion for the future generations. They are also known as the “The Christians of St. John. They consider Jesus as the false messiah who perverted the teaching entrusted to Him by John. It teaches Dualism and is a heretic cult. In years Manadeaism has been influenced by Zoroasteriniasm and Manicheism.
    Your comparison of Jesus and John the Baptist is profound and it is needs to be taught to this cult. .

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