Christopher Wright in his book "Knowing Jesus Through The Old Testament" has a great commentary on what John the Baptist's message was.
"One can imagine the stirring of hearts an quickening of pulses in Jewish homes and communities when, into this mixture of aspirations and hopes dropped the message of John the Baptist, and then of Jesus himself-
The time is fulfilled!(what you have been waiting for as something future is now here and present); the kingdom of God is at hand! (God is now acting to establish his reign in the midst of you); so repent and believe the good news (urgent action is required of you now)."
Wright's commentary within the message shed so much light for me on what John was proclaiming. To understand the magnitude of this proclamation one has to have a good historical, biblical understanding of the Jews in the Old Testament. This statement was groundbreaking, this statement was long awaited, this statement was not accepted. What does a statement like this have for us in the 21st century? Is this statement earth shattering for us who have no concept of something be long awaited??
I fear that we read this proclamation and we clap and maybe smile, but do we fall to our knees, do we see the amazing promise and faithfulness of God vividly displayed? Do we get the urgent action required of us? To repent and believe, do we?? Do I??