I came across an intriguing article regarding the origin of John's Baptism, as I transition into the Gospel of Matthew & the story of John the Baptist.
Wondering if his methodology wasn't meant as an "in your face" ploy, defiant of John's Levitical lineage and the original use of the sacred practice meant for cleansing within the priesthood. Given his frustration with the religious of his day and their obvious political alliances, his camel hair, locust eating image seems just the right persona to initiate a paradigm shift.
We humans are slow to come around, as it would be centuries before Luther would step up to declare the priesthood of all believers, thus completing the providence behind John's message and justifying his departure from his dad, Zecharias's more conventional role in the temple.
Given the chaos currently sweeping our country, it will be interesting to see who emerges to speak truth (with integrity) to power in our day, boyh in the institutional church as well as those leading our republic.
"This is no small thing in the time in which he lived; sons generally followed in their fathers’ footsteps, and the position of priest to the Temple was prestigious. It would have put John among the religious and political elite of Israel. Instead, John went to the wilderness, to dress in camel’s hair and eat locusts and wild honey; he made himself into a prophet in the mold of those of the heyday of Israel, Samuel and Elijah and Jeremiah, people who existed outside and in opposition to the corrupt power structures in place, and who derived their authority from God-given revelation rather than hierarchy or bloodlines.
He, also like them, preached repentance and reform, lest calamity befall Israel, and did so to everyone—soldiers serving under the occupying armies; Jewish tax collectors considered to be collaborators with Rome (for that was who gave them their positions); Jewish religious leaders; the common people. And this was no safe thing to do. First-century Judea was a hotbed of revolution and revolt, lying under the control of the Roman Empire and not particularly happy about it. Those people in power—Herod and his dynasty, and the religious leaders in the capital of Jerusalem—they ruled by the good graces of the imperial authorities, and only on the condition that they kept the peace by whatever means necessary. A charismatic blue-blood rabble-rouser who preached a morality and repentance outside their control was a threat. There was no way that John could have been ignorant of that context, and he chose to preach all the same."
Jesus could have chosen the conventional entry into his days of Priesthood (fulfilling righteousness in terms of requirements) but he chose John's Baptism.
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
Matthew 3: 16-17 KJV
"then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. Hebrews 10:9-13 KJV
The dove that day was an affirmation of John's calling as well as positioning the "Better" Priesthood of Jesus!