Speaker: Will Galkin - After introducing John the Baptist in Luke 3:1–6, he gives the reader a glimpse of John’s ministry. Luke 3:3 shares, “And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Surprisingly, John’s straightforward approach to ministry became popular enough to attract a crowd. The commoners, tax collectors, and religious outsiders loved watching John call out the hypocrisy of the religious elite. There was a novelty to John the Baptist. He was a strange man in a strange location preaching a strong message. Many people found value in making the trip to the wilderness to hear this unkept, camel-hair-wearing, firebrand prophet. Some are even willing to be baptized by him. Generally speaking, people were having a good time. However, this wilderness prophet was making the way clear for the people to see the coming king. Through his strong message, he flattened mountains and filled valleys so the Messiah would have a smooth entrance into this world. His shock and awe manner of communication was to create a sense of need in his audience to fulfill Isaiah 40, “all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” That is why Luke 3:18 summarizes John’s ministry this way, “So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.” In his distinct manner, John the Baptist was thundering out the gospel, knowing that the good news of the gospel begins with genuine repentance and culminates with an understanding of the real Jesus.