The Beheading of St. John the Forerunner

Fr. Alexander Men says:

“Later John the Baptist appeared, about whom you all know.  He summoned the people to perform a holy ablution- mikme, or baptizma – in the River Jordan.  It wasn’t heathen that he required this of, but true-believing Israelites, because he emphasized that the coming of a new era of the Spirit, when the Lord himself would come to earth demanding from the people, even those who had been brought up in the true faith, a turning point in their inner life – repentance, renewal, and consciousness of themselves as so unworthy that they had to go through the holy ablution just as the heathen did.”   (Michael Plekon, TRADITION ALIVE, p 164)