St John the Baptist
John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin, and he baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. John led a simple life. He was only concerned with the Kingdom of God and always spoke of love and truth. He is a model of how to live a life in Christ.
What the Bible tells us about John the Baptist
John the Baptist’s parents were Zechariah and Elizabeth. Elizabeth was related to Jesus’ mother, Mary. Elizabeth had no children, so Zechariah and Elizabeth prayed to God to help them. One day, the Angel Gabriel visited Elizabeth and Zechariah and told them they would have a son and that they should name him John. The angel told them that John would “be great in the sight of [the] Lord” (Luke 1:15).
Mary visited Elizabeth when Elizabeth was pregnant with John. John, filled with the Holy Spirit, leapt with joy in Elizabeth’s womb when Mary greeted her relative. Elizabeth understood that the child Mary carried was to be the Son of God.
John began his public ministry around 30 AD. He talked to people about repentance and asked them to change their lives, preparing them for the Messiah. John attracted large crowds around the Jordan River where he would teach people about God and baptize people. John baptized people on the Jordan River as a symbol of conversion. He told them, “I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11).
John the Baptist’s feast day is June 24 and in school we mark his feast day with a special assembly and other celebrations.