John the Baptist started out as a
priest.  He was the son of priest Zachariah.  
But he took more after his mother who didn't
go around people very much.

At first he was not known as John the
Baptist.  He was just plain John.  Or Priest

There were too many priests to all serve at
the Temple at once, so John served his few
weeks every year, then returned home.

An angel told John's father even before he
was born that John would become a prophet
some day.  Sometimes a prophet tells the
future.  But sometimes he just passes on to
people what God says to do to have a happy
life and be able to go to God's heaven some

John moved out to the desert among many
caves.  He dressed like a wild man in leather
clothes, and he ate like a wild man.  He ate
grasshoppers and wild honey.

He was imitating another prophet who lived
long before him named Elijah.  Some- times
other prophets wore the same type clothing
too so people would know they were prophets.

One day God told John that the time was
close for him to announce that the Jews' new
king of peace from God was coming very soon.  
So they needed to change their life and get
ready for this new kingdom of God.

People wanted a new king very much because
they were always ruled by either a bad king in
their homeland, or a bad king far away in a
city called Rome.  They didn't like either type
of king.

Even though John preferred to be alone in the
desert, he forced himself to go among people
and tell them about the new king of peace
coming from God.

Many people followed John out to the desert
to hear him explain about the new king of
peace.  He told them to get right with God by
trying not to sin and being baptized in the
Jordan River, a kind of spiritual bath.

John baptized probably thousands of people ~
so many that people started calling him John
the Baptizer.  Everyone was curious to find
out who their new king was.

One day a special person came to John to be
baptized.  It was the new king!  His name was
Jesus.  Jesus was baptized to be an example
to the rest of us.

Everywhere John went, people wanted to know
more about King Jesus.  He talked to them
even though he was shy.  

Do you ever tell people about Jesus even when
you feel shy about it?

John was surprised when honest people liked
him more because he told them about King
Jesus.  You will be liked by honest people too
for telling them about Jesus.