John the Baptist set himself apart from the normal lifestyle of his world to do what God had called him to do. He did not drink alcohol or cut his hair. He lived in one of the harshest desert environments in the world, dressing primitively and eating simply. Yet people flocked into the desert to see this unusual man and hear his powerful message. When they arrived, they saw a man dressed like Elijah, the premier prophet of Israel hundreds of years earlier. His speech was harsh, clear, and penetrating.
He called the people to repent-to turn away from their sins and to turn to God. John the Baptist lived his message. His life in the wilderness provided solitude and focus to seek and hear the voice of God. In contrast to the religious leaders of his day, John lived sin simplicity and poverty. He also lived in humility, not seeking personal fame or building his own power base. Instead, he pointed people to the coming Messiah and connected them with Jesus when He came to be baptized.
John the Baptist’s unusual appearance and lifestyle not only matched his message-it was a visual protest against self-indulgent living, and it was a call to put God first.
MARK 1:6 – 6 And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;