The Story of John the Baptist: 4 Powerful Lessons and Bible Verses

The story of John the Baptist is a compelling, guiding narrative to introduce Jesus as the Messiah from someone who knew and loved him.

John the Baptist’s story is full of purpose, hope, and heartbreak much like the story of you and me.

His mission may seem more significant than ours but we are all called to share the good news and point others to Christ.

The story of John the Baptist begins six months before the miraculous conception of his cousin, Jesus, when an angel of God reveals John’s identity and purpose to his parents Elizabeth and Zechariah.

“You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God.  

He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”

Luke 1:14-17 NLT

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel …to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph… “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.”

Luke 1:26-30 NLT

During his lifetime, John the Baptist beautifully fulfilled the assignment bestowed upon him before his birth to prepare and lead others to Jesus

In this post, we explore who was John the Baptist, four key lessons from his life, and important scriptures that reveal what the Bible says about John the Baptist and Jesus.

John the Baptist is a fascinating Biblical hero who lived over 2,000 years ago, but his teachings and example, like many characters in the Bible, guide and teach us today.

prophet speaking-the story of john the baptist

Who was John the Baptist?

The story of John the Baptist begins with his parents, Elizabeth and Zechariah who are described as blameless and righteous. They were also childless and beyond childbearing years.

One day while performing priestly duties in the temple, Zechariah was confronted by an angel of God.

But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.

He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.”

Luke 1:13-15 NIV

Imagine this amazing encounter. Before John the Baptist was born, he was designated by God to be a joy and lead the way to Jesus.

His birth and life were a divine miracle!

John had a season of growth and spiritual maturity before his ministry launched.

“John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.”

John 1:80 NLT

In the story of John the Baptist, he is known as an eccentric who preached in the wilderness, led many followers, and paved the way for the ministry of Jesus.

John’s life was one of sacrifice and humility. He chose a life of authenticity and simplicity, living in the desert and subsisting on a diet of locusts and wild honey.

He was not driven by material possessions or worldly ambitions but by his faith and commitment to God. He was unafraid of speaking the truth even when it meant criticizing those in authority who could have him punished.

John the Baptist is an inspiring role model who profoundly impacted those who heard and followed him. Multitudes came from all over the region to hear him preach, and many were baptized by him.

 “John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.

People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.”

John 3:4-6 NIV

John the Baptist proclaimed a life-changing message, calling everyone to have a change of heart and live a life that reflected faith in God. John knew the coming of the Messiah was imminent, and his mission was to prepare people for the arrival of Christ.

One day as Jesus was teaching the people…the leading priests…and the elders came up to him. They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?”  

“Let me ask you a question first,” he replied. “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human? “They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe John. But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us because they are convinced John was a prophet.”

John 20:1-6

John the Baptist was respected as a prophet, he inspired many people to live better lives, acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, and seek a deeper connection with God.

sea shore-the story of john the baptist

Key Lessons from The Story of John the Baptist

The story of John the Baptist offers a roadmap for how we can live our lives.

His message of living a life of gratitude and trust that reflects faith in God is as relevant today as it was in his time.

We can learn from his example of purpose, humility, and fearlessness in the face of adversity.

4 Lessons from the Story of John the Baptist

  1. Our Godly purpose is more important than the limitations and struggles we face and what others think of us.
  2. Humility is liberating because it takes the focus off of our problems and desires. Releasing pride helps us surrender to God and unleash freedom in our lives.
  3. A spirit of fear will rob you of joy, growth, and peaceful living. Embracing your identity in Christ helps combat fear so you can confidently fulfill your purpose.
  4. Taking attention off of ourselves and our needs and shining the light of Christ leads to unimaginable joy and peace.

Ultimately, John’s mission was to point others toward Christ.

He recognized that his role was to use his gifts and talents to prepare the way for the Messiah and point people to a new life transformed by God’s grace. The same role we have today.

In the story of John the Baptist, he was relentless and never wavered until his untimely death. In doing so, he left a powerful legacy that continues to inspire and challenge us today.

John the Baptist and Jesus

John the Baptist and Jesus were closely related, spiritually connected and set apart by God for great purposes before they were born.

But John the Baptist knew his role was the messenger who paved the way for Jesus our savior and great redeemer!

“God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony.  John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light.”

John 1:6-8 NLT

In the story of John the Baptist, he is baptizing his followers when Jesus requests that John baptize Him as well.

 “Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.  But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him.”

Matthew 3:13-15 NLT

Jesus affirms the importance of John’s teachings while clarifying that John was the messenger declaring the ministry of Christ.

“John was like a burning and shining lamp, and you were excited for a while about his message. But I have a greater witness than John—my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that he sent me.”

John 5:35-36 NLT

Ultimately the story of John the Baptist sets the stage for a deeper understanding of what a Christ follower’s main purpose is; taking the focus off of ourselves and leading others to a relationship with Jesus.

“…many followed him (Jesus). “John didn’t perform miraculous signs,” they remarked to one another, “but everything he said about this man has come true.” And many who were there believed in Jesus.”

John 10:41-42 NLT

What Does the Bible Say About John the Baptist?

When studying what the Bible says about John the Baptist it is helpful to reflect on Bible verses surrounding his life.

The story of John the Baptist shows how important his role is in biblical history.

The Bible mentions John the Baptist and his faithfulness in many verses, emphasizing his mission and message.

8 Bible Verses About John the Baptist

“A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Luke 1:39-41 NLT

“God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony.  John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.”

John 1:6 NLT

This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.”

John 1:19-20 NLT

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

John 1:29 NIV

John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

John 3:27-28 NLT

 “The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said, “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!’”

Matthew 3:3 NLT

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Matthew 3:11 NIV

“I assure you that John the Baptist is greater than anyone who has ever lived. But the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John.”

Matthew 11:11 GNT

The Story of John the Baptist

The story of John the Baptist paints a picture of how to grow spiritually while living sacrificially and humbly.

John the Baptist courageously paved the way for the promised Savior of the world, Jesus.

John the Baptist’s ministry offers us valuable lessons on how to lead more fulfilling lives.

By fulfilling our purpose, and persevering through disappointment, discouragement, and spiritual fatigue we can make a positive impact on the world around us.

In the story of John the Baptist, we are reminded to trust God’s plan and prepare the way for others to encounter Jesus. In our relationships, we can make a huge impact by sharing our story of spiritual transformation.

John the Baptist experienced joy, discouragement, triumph, and failure.

Knowing John the Baptist walked this earth leaving a powerful legacy while experiencing difficult circumstances is encouraging.

As we strive to follow John’s footsteps and lead others to Jesus, let us remember his life-changing words, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) When we believe how much God cares and loves us, decreasing for His sake becomes easier.

Are you inspired by the story of John the Baptist? I would love to hear from you!


Mary Rooney Armand

Mary is the creator and writer for the faith-based blog Her writing has been featured on multiple Christian websites and she is the author of the book, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I am in Christ” and” Life Changing Stories” available on Amazon


water scene-the story of John the Baptist

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Mary Rooney Armand

Mary Rooney Armand is an Author, Speaker, and Creator of the faith-based blog She helps others grow in their intimacy with Christ and thrive in their relationships. Her work is featured on multiple websites including Women of Noble Character, Pray with Confidence, and The Brave Women Series. Mary is the author of, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I Am in Christ” and, “Life Changing Stories” a collaboration with 34 authors sharing stories of God’s faithfulness. Besides writing, Mary leads small groups and speaks at retreats. She directed Kids Hope USA, a mentoring program for children, worked in marketing and sales, and has led mission trips to Honduras. Mary is a life coach with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and an MBA. She and her wonderful husband Cory live in New Orleans and are the parents of four children, a new daughter-in-law, and two dogs! Connect with Mary on Instagram or Facebook.

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