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John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, was a priest of the order of Abijah (Luke 1:5). His mother, Elizabeth, was a relative of Jesus’ mother, Mary (Luke 1:36). Seven centuries before John was born, the prophet Isaiah spoke of “the voice of one that crieth,” indeed, of him who would “prepare in the wilderness the way of Jehovah,” and “make level in the desert a highway for our God” (Isa. 40:3). All of the gospel writers reported this prophecy was fulfilled through the preparatory work of John the Baptizer (see, Matt. 3:3, Mark 1:2-3, Luke 3:4-6 and John. 1:23). John preached about the coming kingdom and the need to repent (see, Matt. 3:2, Mark 1:4). After telling Herod Antipas (the son of Herod the Great) that it was not lawful for him to have his brother’s wife, John was arrested and eventually beheaded at the behest of the wife. Mark 6:17-29.

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