Of The Priestly Line
John the Baptist was of the lineage of Levi because his father was a priest and his mother (Elizabeth) was also of the tribe of Levi. Because John the Baptists mother was also Jesus’ mother’s cousin(Luke 1:26), we also know that Elizabeth was also a descendant of Judah. John the Baptist, in his flesh was both a descendant of Levi and a descendant of Judah. In the flesh, John the Baptist was both a priest and king, but God knew our salvation could not come through our flesh nor could it come through the law which the tribe of Levi represented. Jesus did not have Levitical blood. If Jesus did have Levitical blood, we would be required to remain under the old covenant. As it is, Jesus is not a descendant of Aaron and in Him we are not under Levitical Law.
John the Baptist therefore became a type (a living example) of what the Levitical Law was designed to do. John the Baptist showed mankind that he needed to turn back to God. The Levitical Law did the same. It showed that human beings could not follow God through laws.
Proclaimed A Greater Baptism
In Luke 3:16-17 John the Baptist said that he baptized with water, but there was one greater who would baptize with the Holy Ghost (Spirit) and fire. He said that he would separate the wheat (Godly Righteous) from the straw (unrighteous sinners).
Then Jesus came to be baptized by John the Baptist and John said that Jesus didn’t need to be baptized by John the Baptist, but he needed to be baptized by Jesus. John recognized that under the Levitical Law, he was no match for the power that Jesus as High Priest would represent.
Everything that John said was true, however, Jesus told him in Matthew 3:15 that it was necessary for John to Baptize Jesus in order to fulfill all righteousness.
The First Evangelist
John the Baptist announced that God provided a better way than the law had to offer. Unlike the rest of the priests who stayed in the comforts of the temple, John the Baptist shucked his priestly garments of fine white linen and the delicacies of temple food for camel hair clothes, a leather belt and honey and locusts and went out into the wilderness to lead the people to repentance and to baptize with water.
The word for evangelist is euaggelistes in the Greek. The meaning of this word in the original language is a preacher of the good news. Traditionally, an evangelist is a preacher who preaches the gospel in areas in areas where there is no permanent clergy. This technically made John the Baptist the first evangelist because he told of and provided preparation for others to receive the truth of Jesus Christ’s authority.
Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .