I admire these two men because they spoke truth to power. John filled the prophesy of a voice crying out in the wilderness – as the Dartmouth motto says, “Vox Clamentis in Deserto.” Whether anyone was listening or not, he knew what was right and spoke out for it, and yet when a greater power came along, he knew to bend his knee and bow his head. Nathan also spoke out for truth when no one else was, but not only did he speak truth, he spoke it to power, challenging a government ruler who had grown corrupt and arrogant. His words were not violent, and rather than toppling the king, he convinced him to change his ways, an extraordinarily rare feat. I hope that as I grow, I will always strive for the courage and clarity of John the Baptist and the politics and values of Nathan the prophet.
The comment section below is just tailor made for further reflection on this question. To my regular commenters Cany, James, Jordan, Leonardo, Dogwalkmusings, and Fred (apologies if I am forgetting anyone), and to any other readers, regular or new: if you could be one character in the Bible, who would you be and why? (Mom, I hope you’ll chime in too!)