Keith's sermon yesterday was a precursor to the Gospel lesson for Sunday. He pondered what it was that brought out the crowds to First Baptist Church of the Jordan River, John (the Baptist), Pastor.
Jesus wonders the same thing. What made people go see John? What made them follow him? What made them bring his message from prison to Jesus?
It certainly wasn't his visual aesthetic. It wasn't the nature surrounding the Jordan.
They went to see a prophet.
I'm fairly certain there hasn't been a prophet since John the Baptist. Sure, many have been gifted with the gift of prophecy, but no true Mosaic Prophets. Because of that, I'm not sure we can get a real sense of what it was that brought the crowds out to see John. We can't understand what it means that he "prepared the way" we can only take scriptures' word for it. Still, the people went to see a prophet, and most of them left probably feeling pretty bad about who they were before they arrived at the River Jordan. I bet a lot of people returned to the Judean countryside pretty angry at ol' John. But the crowds kept coming.
Keith said it was because he spoke the truth and the truth moves us deeply. I think he's right. So then, in our world where prophets are self-proclaimed and the gift of prophecy is hard to discern, where do you go to hear the truth?