John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
The age of Tiberius, spiritually speaking, was not unlike the Victorian age. Some people were still satisfied with the old religious forms. Their piety still flowed through the time-worn channels of creeds and catechisms. There will always be these survivals, what we call "old-fashioned people"; they belong to the past, let them alone, they will get to heaven in their own way. Others — in the days of Tiberius and Victoria — respectable but heartless formalists, really without religion, but apparently full of it, cling to the orthodox forms. You will always find such wooden-headed, stony-hearted supporters of things as they are, without a breath of the new life in them, boasting that they are Abraham's children. But a surging crowd of restless, eager spirits, sons of the new time, impatient of worn-out creeds, churches, establishments, orthodoxies, what shall I say of these? Ah! these are the disciples of John. These wait for the inner personal appeal, "repent;" the fresh symbol, "baptism"; the spiritual emancipation, "remission of sins"; the new Divine Man; the holy effluence; the fiery chrism.
(H R. Haweis, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.