It was a time of expectation, like when the planets line up in a way they haven’t for a long time and won’t ever again in one’s lifetime which of course must mean something. In that kind of time a voice crying in the wilderness attracts attention and even casual conversations end up speculating about cosmic events. Most of the time the time has not lived up to the expectation but this time the expectation couldn’t live up to the time. They expected a Messiah exactly like John, even though he told them he wasn’t him. But with speeches full of fire, with clothes, diet and personal hygiene like the prophets of the past he was a figure to behold. And so the people heard his hell fire brimstone exhortation as good news and in the verses preceding these change their ways to escape the wrath that is to come. No wonder Jesus gets lost in the crowd. He can’t follow that sort of act and unless you were close enough to hear the voice or happened to be looking when the dove landed he would have looked like one of the crowd dipping in the Jordan hoping to come up clean. But if you were listening and looking your expectation would have been met by something you could never have expected. Though the voice declared him the beloved Son he was baptized like one of the crowd. That’s why expectation can never live up to Incarnation which in the end burns our chaff and saves our wheat.