While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John, called "the Baptizer," was preaching in the desert country of Judea.
His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings: "Change your life. God's kingdom is here."
John and his message were authorized by Isaiah's prophecy: Thunder in the desert! Prepare for God's arrival! Make the road smooth and straight!
John dressed in a camel-hair habit tied at the waist by a leather strap. He lived on a diet of locusts and wild field honey.
People poured out of Jerusalem, Judea, and the Jordanian countryside to hear and see him in action.
There at the Jordan River those who came to confess their sins were baptized into a changed life.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)