Reading through Matthew chapter three this week I was struck with the character of John the Baptist. What kind of person has such a blatant disregard for their personal comfort and outward appearances? John wore clothes made of camel’s hair with a leather belt, basically, clothes that would not wear quickly and keep him relatively protected from the elements. A far shot from the gorgeous looking long garments of the Pharisees, the religious leaders of his day. John ate locusts and wild honey, food permitted by Jewish law that could be readily found in the scrub around him and hence was common only among the poorest in that area. John the Baptist is either a hobo or someone who by choice, cares nothing for worldly comfort, worldly possessions or any form of worldly gain. Then it struck me, why would Jesus choice someone like John to be his herald?
In ancient times a herald was somebody who prepared the way for the king. They would travel in a group before the king to make sure all the preparations had been made and proclaim to all along the way that the king is coming. As part of the preparation, the herald would also clear the road, fix potholes and clean up the rubbish so that the king’s journey was as comfortable as possible. The herald was an emissary of the king who shared the king’s agenda, and the money spent was a clear representation of the power and wealth of the coming king. 
John was the herald of Jesus, and his life clearly shows that Christ’s kingdom is not of this world. Johns preparations were only spiritual; he was only concerned with preaching repentance and the coming kingdom of heaven, he was completely sold out to it. We are also called to be the heralds of Christ, not in the same sense as John, because Christ has already come. But as Christians, we are called to prepare and proclaim the kingdom of heaven. So how close to John’s example is your life? Are you sold out? Do your actions, and life choices, prepare or prevent the promotion of the kingdom? Do your words proclaim or pervert the gospel? Are you a herald or a hoax?