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Make Straight His Paths - pencil drawings of John the Baptist, Thunder in the Desert

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Ohorseman, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. Ohorseman

    Ohorseman Take up your cross and follow Me

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    This art is about John the Baptist. In Hebrew, he is known as Yochanan ha-matbil. In Arabic he is called Yahya. He was from the same bloodline as Jesus Christ. John was the forerunner, or herald, of the Messiah. John echoed the words of the Prophet Elijah, written in the Book of Isaiah. He was fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. It was foretold that a messenger would prepare the way for the Messiah.

    John the Baptist - pencil drawings, sequential art. Make Straight His Paths.jpg
    page 2 - John the Baptist - Make Straight His Paths.jpg

    HEAR THIS BROTHERS AND SISTERS

    In my art I show where John the Baptist tells the Jews that being born a Jew is not good enough. He hits them in the center of who they are and what they believe. Bold. Direct. He was not racist, or anti-Semitic. John himself was born a Jew. But he wants them to know that it takes more than being born a Jew to please God. Idolatry involves the worship of something or someone other than God as if it were God. The Jews made their race into a type of idolatry and John called them out on it. He tells them this because it is the truth and he was being obedient to his purpose in life. There are more examples of John being direct and telling the unpopular truth to those that asked. Look at this from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 3:

    Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

    Those tax collectors made their living collecting taxes for the Roman Empire and it was common for the tax collector to collect a little extra for himself. That's how they earned a living. Likewise, the soldiers used their positions to hustle money from the people. It's what the tax collectors and soldiers did. John called them out. He did not concern himself with political correctness. He did not concern himself with hurting their feelings. When they came to John and asked him what they should do he did not hold back the truth. He did not even spare King Herod. Look at this from the Gospel of Mark, chapter 6:

    For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her. Because John had said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife." Therefore Herodias held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not; for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

    So even the King listened to John the Baptist. The king would not have had John beheaded if it were not for his wife's actions. She did not want to hear John pointing out their sin. She was embarrassed and infuriated to the point that she even plotted John's death. Here is what I see in this: John was a fiery preacher that indeed called out sin in a direct way. However, he only did this to those that came to him and were interested in his message. It was people that were believers or those interested in becoming a believer that John preached to. The worldly people did not want to hear it. It seems that the king's unlawful wife, Herodias, was one of those worldly people and it was because of her that John was beheaded. As Christians, we should learn from this. When people come to us that are genuinely interested in the faith or we are talking to someone that is a fellow believer, tell the truth. Don't water it down out of concern for political correctness. However, if it is a worldly person that is just having a worldly conversation, it may not be a good idea to engage with them. One example of this would be on the gay pride issue. It's hot-button issue and worldly people do not really want to hear scriptural truth on this issue. It will only stir up an argument. However, when talking to other believers certainly speak the truth. Many Christians out there do not know the scriptures or have a faulty understanding of the Bible's teaching on this issue. Help them, even if it is difficult. Do not be like a "reed shaken by the wind" (see Matthew 11:7).

    Think about this brothers and sisters: if a gay man went to John the Baptist and asked what he should do, what do you think John would have said? He would have told him to stop sinning in a very direct and understandable way, just like he did with the Jew, tax collector, soldier, and King Herod. And John would have baptized him if he were willing to repent. If he came to you and asked, what would you say?


    DO NOT OFFEND ME.

    The boundaries of what is appropriate or offensive have dramatically changed. Because the western world has stepped away from the traditional Judaeo-Christian worldview, we no longer have a unanimous, cohesive reference point for what is right or wrong, or for even what is funny or offensive. The sins explained in the Bible have mostly been replaced with new sins that have been invented within radical liberalism: misogyny, homophobia, racism (now re-defined), hate speech (almost anything that does not agree with liberalism), climate change denial, and on and on, making it up as they go.

    Recognizing that the ungodly NOW determine what is offensive or not, should Christians care? Should Christians concern themselves with political-correctness?

    Most Christians, hopefully, still look to the Bible for guidance and its instruction is clear to those that honestly listen. Clearly, John the Baptist was not concerned about political-correctness or being offensive. He called them a "brood of vipers". He insulted the Jews by telling them that being born a Jew is NOT good enough. John criticized them all and gave them instruction on what is right and wrong, every class, even the Roman soldier occupying their land. He even went so far as to call out the King for his sin of divorce and unlawful re-marriage. John was not concerned about offending people. He was living out his purpose. He came to preach against sin and introduce the world to the Messiah. For telling the truth, he was beheaded. Why did he put his life on the line like that? Why would he die for the truth? Is it that important?

    Apparently, it is not important enough to Christians today. We have lost our fire, our boldness. Where are our Christians like John? Maybe there aren't any around anymore. Spiritually speaking: maybe they all have been beheaded; or they are still in the desert, eating locusts and wild honey.

    THE ART

    I drew these drawings of John the Baptist with pencil and did some gray-scale digital painting. I did more digital painting in pages 3 and 4. I always prefer the simplicity of the black and white. So I doubt I will paint it in color. The words of the sequential art are taken from the Gospels. Included here are recent observations about what I see around me and these things were my inspiration for the artwork. The sad state of the world shows me how we need a savior. We need a savior to cover our sins, heal us, and make us worthy to be with a holy God. The story of John the Baptist is not the beginning. The beginning is in Genesis, the time of our creation and our falling away from God. John the Baptist announced that it is time to receive God and God's plan to restore humanity.

    EDIT:
    Removed the art with John in the loincloth out of respect for those that took issue (pages 3 and 4). If you wish to see it you can go here:
    Make Straight His Paths
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
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  2. coronawatching

    coronawatching Member Supporter

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    I was into the reading and then got vexed by the art at the end. Come on dude. Why did you make John look like a Chippendale?
     
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  3. SamanthaAnastasia

    SamanthaAnastasia Just a library lady

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    The loin cloth was a bit too loin-y.

    maybe more like the 8249E2D9-0428-4D1D-B212-D59668A7242C.jpeg

    Overall great job!
     
  4. Ohorseman

    Ohorseman Take up your cross and follow Me

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    LOL. Good one. I just never thought about it that way. All the footprints in the mud you see on the previous page are NOT from people watching a sexy dance.
     
  5. Ohorseman

    Ohorseman Take up your cross and follow Me

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    I thought your were being light-hearted about the matter... and I even clicked on the funny face icon. Then, I read again your comment and considered your use of the word "vexed", a strong word. Maybe you are being serious about the matter. So, I will give you serious answer.

    It is no more revealing than many artworks of Christ on the cross. Certainly there is more cover than Michelangelo's Creation of Adam. In this art, John had been baptizing the people. You can see their many footprints in the mud. Afterward, when all the people were gone, the officials approach him and ask him hard questions. You only see the shadows of the old covenant officials. That is symbolic. You see the shadow of the staff with the menorah. Again, symbolism there. John is washing his robe in the river, and that itself is a symbol of baptism. John is exposed, just as with his words he exposes himself before the officials. It is not gratuitous. It is symbolic. Even him holding out his hand is symbolic of invitation for them to be baptized. Layers of symbolism.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
  6. coronawatching

    coronawatching Member Supporter

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    Hi, I looked at the pics from my laptop and they looked a little different from when I first saw them on my phone. I was being serious and funny at the same time. I, personally, thought that the risque pictures at the end took away from the powerful words that you were wrote. That is just one man's opinion though. God bless.
     
  7. Chris V++

    Chris V++ Socially Distancing Supporter

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    These are all drawn really well. I like the panel where you can see the shadows of the Pharisees. The compositions are all excellent. Someday I'd like to attempt something a long the lines of Dore's Bible illustrations.
     
  8. Ohorseman

    Ohorseman Take up your cross and follow Me

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    I removed the art that showed John in a loincloth and left a link for those that may wish to see it. Sorry if I offended anyone . I did not mean to offend anyone.
     
  9. coronawatching

    coronawatching Member Supporter

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    God bless...
     
  10. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

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    These are well done, with lots of detail, and I like the theme. Can you explain your digital painting technique and equipment?
     
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