The Gospels – The Gospel According to John
A man sent by God
John 1:6-9 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. (7) He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. (8) He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. (9) The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.
It is often the case that before Envoys of God incarnate, Forerunners are sent to the target population to prepare the way. Preparing the way means to remind the hearers of the prophecies and of the Coming of the Envoy. This Forerunner also revives the spiritual teachings of the people. By so doing he refreshes the memories of the people of the knowledge of God. He concentrates minds and helps focus attention on the prophecies and the impending Coming. In this way the people will already be on the lookout for the Envoy and it will be easy for them to recognize Him when He comes.
This was the role of John the Baptist. He aroused the people, reminded them of the prophecies, spoke to them about the impending coming of the Messiah and focused attention on this. He got the people thinking about spiritual things and in this way softened the soil upon which Jesus was to work. It made it easier for Jesus because the people were already aroused spiritually awaiting the Messiah. They were already open spiritually and it became easier for His Word to penetrate into their spirits.