John the Baptist (JtB) and Christ, JtB’s followers and Christians have a curious relationship, given what we have in the Gospels.
Firstly, we are told that John is a messenger sent to prepare a way/path for Christ, and yet, John, who so highly thought of Jesus, did not become Jesus’ disciple. Why not?
Secondly, according to John’s Gospel, JtB continues to baptize even as Jesus’ disciples baptize in the same area. We are told by GJohn that disciples of Jesus baptized more people, implying a bit of a competition that was going on between John’s and Jesus’ followers.
Thirdly, according to the Synoptic Gospels (GMatthew, GMark and GLuke), people confuse Jesus for John the Baptist risen from the dead! And, according to the Peter’s confession narratives in GMark, GMatthew and GLuke, this error persists while Jesus tells the disciples to not talk about him. In other words, let the crowds remain confused.
Fourthly, familial connection between Jesus and JtB seems to grow between GMark/GMatthew and GLuke.
There is no hint that JtB and Jesus are related in the first Gospels and then, they are cousins in Luke’s Gospel!
Fifthly, Jesus says that there have not been any greater man born of a woman than JtB which, strangely, makes John greater than Jesus (since both were born of a woman).
I guess the point of this rambling is that the relationship between JtB and Jesus is mysterious, to say the least. Which means that Mandeans (JtB’s followers) could be rivals or friends of Christians, depending on the interpretation.