This morning I am intrigued by John the Baptist. I can imagine his being instructed by Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary and the Spirit!
He introduces the concept of personal repentance, the means of rebirth, quite different from just bringing a sacrifice, that too fulfilled in his cousin, Jesus!
What a brilliant metaphor, this word baptism, which John then physically demonstrates as a full-under in surrender.
Jesus then ups the ante by prophesying of a spirit only version that will fulfill John's metaphor, which Peter recognizes at Pentecost (all earlier captured in the festivals prescribed in the Law).
You can't make this stuff up, nor can any religion alone, deliver the transformation implied...a baptism by fire!