John’s preaching created a yearning for the Messiah. They even wanted John to be the Messiah.
John clarifies his message with these words.
Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon, and they were eager to know whether John might be the Messiah. John answered their questions by saying,
“I baptize you with water, but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork.
Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.” John used many such warnings as he announced the Good News to the people. (Luke 3:15-18, NLT)
It sounds like John spoke out with even more warnings that are not recorded.
Eventually, his plain-speaking placed him in jail.
John also publicly criticized Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, for marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for many other wrongs he had done. So, Herod put John in prison, adding this sin to his many others. (Luke 3:15-18, NLT)
Do you tell the truth, even when it might hurt you?