3:1 John the Baptist. John the Baptist, Jesus said, was the greatest man ever born up to His day (Matthew 11:11). Yet, for some strange reason, John is almost ignored by modern believers. In a very real sense, he was the first Christian, the first Christian witness, the first Christian preacher, the first Christian prophet, and, finally, the first Christian martyr. He was the first to baptize converts, and could even have started the first local church, since the disciples of Christ were already largely organized and ministering together under John before they were instructed to follow Christ (John 1:35-37; Acts 1:15-26; etc.).