How John the Baptist Handled the Attention

God gave him a message, and so he went around delivering it. “The word of God came to John”—we call him John the Baptist—and “he went into all the region around the Jordan [River], proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 3:2-3).

It seems John became popular pretty fast, but he wasn’t doing seeker-friendly.

He the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance." (Luke 3:7-8)

What did John do with his newfound platform? Two things:

  1. He called for repentance (vv. 3, 7).
  2. He pointed to Jesus—“He who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie” (Luke 3:16).

Calling for repentance and pointing to Jesus—a good model for what do with any platform.

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David Mathis (@davidcmathis) is executive editor for, pastor at Cities Church in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, and adjunct professor for Bethlehem College & Seminary. He has edited several books, including Finish the Mission, Acting the Miracle, and most recently Cross, and is co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.