Do we take care not to offend anyone?  In our workplaces an enormous effort is made to keep the staff happy so that they don’t leave or, worse still, make a complaint against us as they leave.  Interestingly, not offending anyone was not John the Baptist’s way of working.  John the Baptist didn’t ‘pull his punches’.  If the King had forged an illegitimate wedding, John would speak out.  If the established religion was drowning in ritualistic formalism, John would speak out.  If ordinary people were living lives ignorant of God, John would speak out.  Wherever John saw evil – in the State, in the church or in the crowd – he fearlessly rebuked it.  This has many parallels with us today.  Yes, we have corrupt practice in the monarchy, in government and in the church but we also live in a time when ordinary people are not being ‘challenged with the Gospel’.  In recent decades the Church in the Western world has become very accomplished at not offending anyone.  Has this stance borne fruit?  Perhaps we sometimes need to challenge people directly with the Gospel.  John the Baptist did.