There is no birth narrative for John, he goes straight to the beginning of Christ's ministry, introducing Jesus through John the Baptist's declaration about Him. John the Baptist, although commended by Jesus in His words recorded elsewhere: “Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist''(Matthew 11 v 11), is a rather elusive figure. We have the record of his birth as part of the story of Christ's birth and then we see him again here, a figure coming out of the wilderness with an eschatological message: the time has come for God's judgement and restoration. It is quite likely that he was a member of the Essenes community who lived ascetically in the desert areas and practised baptism, but his intention is clearly to remain in the background. He comes onto the stage to prepare Jews for the Messiah and that is it, although we continue to read about his powerful influence in the book of Acts.
Early in the Gospel, John introduces us to the unholy cabal of Jewish religious leaders, their assistants and 'yes' men. They come to John the Baptist with a mental tick list of who he may be: not the Messiah, not Elijah, not Moses, not the Prophet, so who? When John retorts by quoting Isaiah 40 v 3 they respond with indifference. They have no real interest in discovering new things from Scripture. Their assumption is that they already know all that there is to know about that book and even about God! Make every effort to avoid becoming like those men! Don't ever get to the point when you think you know everything, that you have an answer for everyone! Closed, arrogant minds have run their course and there is little hope for any life in the future!
John the Baptist points the way to Jesus, are there people around you who need Jesus pointing out?