When I think of John the Baptist, one word comes to mind...radical. He might have also been viewed as a bit strange. He wore camel's hair with a leather belt, ate locusts and wild honey, and went around prophesying about One coming after him. I believe in today's time he would have been seen as someone a little off his rocker.
But Jesus saw his heart and not the outside peculiarities. He must have had a heart of gold since Jesus asked him to baptize Him. I love John's humble response to this request...further evidence of where his heart was.
John the Baptist took great risks. When the Pharisees and Sadducees came to him to be baptized, he spoke rather boldly to them calling them a brood of vipers. It wasn't something you say if you're looking for man's approval. In fact, John's radicalness and risk taking caused him to be noticed by Herod's household and beheaded. Jesus was extremely sad upon hearing this news and withdrew to a secluded place.
I come away from this story realizing that risk taking looks different for everyone. For some it may be shouting in the downtown streets, "Jesus loves you!" For others, it may simply be praying out loud. I can't judge other people for their actions (even if they're wearing camel hair and eating grasshoppers). God looks at my heart and no matter how much He's asking me to risk, it is with humbleness that I obey...
Scripture reference : Matthew 3, 14:1-12; Mark 1