God sent a man named John to testify that a very special light was coming into the world. John would often proclaim, “The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me. From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
Priests and Levites from Jerusalem went out to look for John. When they found him in Bethany, near the Jordan River, they asked, “Who are you?” John answered them firmly. “I am not the Messiah.”
They asked more questions. “Are you Elijah? … Are you the Prophet? … Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?”
Quoting from the prophet Isaiah, John said he was “the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’”
Some Pharisees had come out with the priests and Levites. They also had questions for John. “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet?”
John told them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie”
The next day when John was baptizing, he saw Jesus coming. He announced for everyone to hear, “Behold, the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. … I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the holy Spirit.’”
John looked around at the people to be sure they were listening. Then he said, “Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.” After that Jesus chose 12 men to be his disciples, including some who had been followers of John.
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
1. What did the priests and Levites ask John?
2. What did John see rest on Jesus?
John the Baptist prophesied that a very special person would soon appear. That person would be Jesus. John lived in the desert on a diet primarily of locusts and wild honey and wore a robe of camel’s hair. He probably had a wild and frightening appearance to anyone who saw him. His most important message for Israel was one word, “Repent.” People came in large crowds to hear John preach and to be baptized by him, which was a sign of their repentance. Jesus, himself, came to John and asked to be baptized by him. Jesus then went into the desert, where he was tempted by the devil. He triumphed each time by quoting and relying on the Scriptures. After that, he began his ministry. Elizabeth, the mother of John, was related to Mary, the mother of Jesus.
St. Sturmi was born in Bavaria in the eighth century. He was cared for and educated by St. Boniface and St. Wigbert. He became a priest and worked in Westphalia as a missionary.
After deciding upon a place that was safe from bandits and Saxons, Sturmi founded a monastery in Fulda. St. Boniface appointed him its first abbot. Unfortunately, Sturmi often disagreed with St. Lull, who replaced St. Boniface, about how the monastery should be run. Lull tried to take control, but the other monks wanted Sturmi to continue to be their leader.
Wars continued to rage, placing the monastery and the monks in danger. After the monastery was saved, Sturmi became ill and died in 779.