John the Baptist:
John the Baptist was Jesus' cousin.
Jesus was a carpenter by trade, while John was a spiritual recluse who ate honey and locusts and practised abstinence and fasting.
We can therefore conclude that John was smaller than his big cousin.
Did John wear Jesus' hand me downs?
Or did he refuse, preferring camel's hair coat (this season's must have)?
We will perhaps never know.
What we do know is that John, even as an foetus, was very excited about Jesus [Luke 1:44].
John spent his whole career telling people to turn from their sins to follow Jesus and ended up with his head on a plate (divorced from the rest of him) after giving Herod a ticking off for sleeping with his own brother's wife [Mark 6:27-28].
However, it wasn't all downers for John as, late on in his career, Jesus bestowed upon him the title of "world's greatest bloke" [Matthew 11:11] - which is nice.
John the Baptist has two feast days: one for his birth (June 24) and one for his decapitation (August 29) - how morbid!
He also has the dubious honour of being the patron saint of:
- baptism (fair enough);
- knights (okay);
- hailstorms (huh?);
- epilepsy and convulsions (why?);
- Genoa (is Italian); and
- Quebec (bien!).
I always think it muchly amusing to call anyone of a baptist denominational persuasion who happens to be known as John, "John the Baptist".
I don't think anyone else shares this view (especially not baptists called John).