John’s message of repentance is intended to produce practical effects in the people. When asked for specifics, he gives examples that exemplify compassion and contentment. God’s people are not to be concerened with only themeselves, seeking material gain at the expense of others.
The crowds that gathered to hear John thought he might be the Messiah, but he responded by saying the real Messiah was so much more important than he was, and that He would soon appear.
Luke then relates events out of chronological order: Herod imprisoning John and John baptizing Jesus. Herod and his wife didn’t like how John called out their sin so they threw him in prison. Jesus came to be baptized by John not because He needed to repent, but to identify with the people He came to save. When He was baptized, a sign appeared from Heaven to show God’s approval.
Help us to be concerned with those around us the way You are.