Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
A soul lost in the greatness of eternal truths, like that of John, may well have risen to an indifference to the comforts, or even ordinary wants of the body, otherwise almost impossible. We have no record of his daily life, but that of one who, in saintliness of spirit, trod in his steps, is still preserved. Saint Antony, in the deserts of Egypt, was wont to pass whole nights in prayer, and that not once, but often, to the astonishment of men. He ate once a day, after the setting of the sun; his food was bread with salt, his drink nothing but water. Flesh and wine he never tasted. When he slept, he was content with a rush mat, but mostly he lay on the bare ground. He would not anoint himself with oil, saying that it was more fit for young men to be earnest in subduing the body, than to seek things which softened it. Forgetting the past, he, daily, as if beginning afresh, took more pains to improve, saying over to himself, continually, the apostle's words — "Forgetting what is behind, stretching forth to what is before"; and mindful, too, of Elijah's saying, "the Lord liveth, before whom I stand" — he said, himself, that the ascetic ought ever to be learning his own life from that of the great Elias, as from a mirror. The picture may not suit in some particulars, but as a glimpse of the mortified life of the desert, in its best aspect, it may serve to realize that of John, in the loneliness of the rough wilderness of Judaea.
(Dr. C. Geikie.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.