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John the Baptist

John 1:19-23 Lindsay, April 30th., 2011 Pr. Ruben Dario Sanchez

No study of Christ is complete without understanding His forerunner, the person who introduced Him to the world. John the Baptist is the first soul winner of whom we read in the NT, and he was a pioneer in every sense of the word.
As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: A voice of one calling in the wilderness, Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Luke

3:4 He not only prepared the way for the Lord, but as we study him he will help to prepare us to do this same good work. There are few people in the Gospels of whom we have so much details and of whom the Lord had so much to say

Yet John's period of service probably covered only 6 months. He was a unique personality Rugged, strong Yet humble. He was the child of godly parents His birth was normal [leapt in the womb] He was Spirit filled: He was our Lord's forerunner, This is the one about whom it is written:

I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you. Luke 7:27.

1. HE OBEYED A DIVINE COMMISSION. John's work was undertaken under a strong sense of divine commission And in John 1:33 4 words emphasize this: " And I myself did not
know him, but the ONE WHO SENT ME to baptize with water told me, The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. ". John 1:33

He had been sent to do the work of soul winning. Who had sent him? There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. John 1:6 Jesus was sent by God We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 1 John 4:14 It is important to notice, however, that if we truly are Christians then we too have been sent. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. John 20:21 Just as God sent Jesus, so He has sent us. So Jesus and John obeyed a divine commission. 2. HE DESCRIBED A SPECIFIC TASK. Why was John sent? What did he come to do?

Now this was Johns testimony when the Jewish leaders[a] in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, I am not the Messiah. They asked him, Then who are you? Are you Elijah? He said, I am not. Are you the Prophet? He answered, No. Finally they said, Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself? John 1:19-22 This sends us back to our OT: Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: Mal 3:1 A voice of one calling: In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.. Isa 40:3 We also are to be a "voice" We are to speak

To cry out in the wilderness of this world. How wonderful to be a "voice" for God, a channel through whom He can speak to others! Every one of us can engage in this And everywhere there are people waiting to hear the voice that tells them of the Savior. And how did John the Baptist used his voice?... 3. HE INTRODUCED A WONDERFUL PERSON. In all the records of John's public ministry, and in particular what we just read, he always pointed people away from himself to the Lord Jesus. John 1: 25-27 Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet? I baptize with water, John replied, but among you stand one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the

straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. And may we all have this attitude of making God increase and ourselves decrease! Who was this Christ whom John introduced to people? John 1: 30, 34 This is the one I
meant when I said, A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me. 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel I have seen and I testify that this is Gods Chosen One

Christ was, and is, the eternal, preexistent Son of God. We too are to speak of the Lord and to introduce Him to others. There is no vocation in the whole wide world to compare with this. Lets catch the wonder of it! This is the work of the evangelist, the missionary the minister And the individual Christian.

But notice what John the Baptist said about the Lord Jesus 4. HE PROCLAIMED A GLORIOUS MESSAGE. John proclaimed two special things about Christ: (1) First, that He is the sin bearer, John 1 29 and 36 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, Look, the Lamb of God! (2) Second, that He is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit, see John 1:32, 33. Then John gave this testimony:
I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.

The message John proclaimed to his hearers was that through faith in the Lord JC they could have Deliverance from their sins, Acts 13:38-39, And the gift of a new life. 1 Cor 12:13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free, and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. There is only One who can bestow these great blessings, and that is Jesus, the Lamb who was slain for us And through His sacrificial and substitutionary death upon the cross He bore our sins away and provided pardon and cleansing. Only He can take guilty sinners and, by the miracle and mystery of His sovereign grace, unite us "into one body"; and make us "to drink into one Spirit", 1 Cor. 12:13

making us "partakers of the divine nature", 2 Pet. 1:4 "fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God", Eph. 2:19, And "an habitation of God through the Spirit", Eph. 2:22. This is the glorious message that we have to proclaim and that this poor old world so desperately needs to hear. Christ alone has the true answer to man's need for forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. We as Christians have the privilege and the responsibility of proclaiming this message. Are we doing it? If so, well see fruit and the Lord and His work will increase! 5. HE SECURED A RICH HARVEST.

At first sight the harvest recorded in John 1:35-37 did not seem very spectacular, but think a moment. The

next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, Look, the Lamb of God!When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.

Who were these first trophies of grace who were brought to the Savior directly through the ministry of John the Baptist? They were Andrew and John [son of Zebedee] But not only Andrew and John, for verses 40-42 tell us that Andrew found his brother Peter and led him to the Lord. Notice the position of the word "first" in verse 41. It does not say, "he found his own brother first", but "he first found his own brother", signifying that John led his brother James to Jesus, but that Andrew was the first one to find his brother Peter. They both found their brothers!


So here was a rich harvest from John the Baptist's ministry, Andrew, John, Peter, James, and the rest in the following verses And just think of the multitudes who were led to the Lord through those few! They turned the world upside downbut it all started w/ the witness of the man John the Baptist. He was the greatest man ever born, and fulfilled a great role in Christianityand yet even he experienced a period of great doubt and testing: Matt. 11:1-3 After Jesus had
finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?

John stood up to Herod for taking his own brothers wife, and Herod cast


him into prison in the castle of Machaerus, east of the Dead Sea. Some of the dungeons there can still be toured today Built into a great hillside. Dark and damp rat infested And most unpleasant. John wondered why he would end up this way, and sent messengers to ask if Jesus truly was the Messiah. He himself had proclaimed him to be, but now hes having doubts. We should find this fact comforting. What? Thats right! If the greatest man ever born can have doubts and his faith falter, then its normal for any of us at times. John, like most Jews, didnt think Jesus would operate the way He did. John is in prison, and is wondering if Jesus would allow this to happen. And we like him have our doubts at times.

Maybe its when were in A financial prison Or a prison of poor health A prison of poor relationships Or depression. John was human, and like us, had preconceived notions about how God should do thingsso he began to question. Its ok to question Its ok to have doubts And investigate them. Whats the only dumb question? [the one you dont ask!] Sometimes God answers right away and Jesus didnt Johns questionbecause some will be answered in heaven and not before. We must trust. Jesus knew John would recognize His credentials. We must trust in Him even when we dont understand. So, its ok to be honest with our feelings

Its ok to not understand everything Its ok to have some doubts at times. I cannot begin to understand those little Amish girls being shot point blank in the head. I cannot figure out a conservative congressman, working on child predator legislation turning out to be one himself. I cant understand a little baby dying shortly after birth Or a great Christian getting cancer. But we dont have to understand, we just have to trust. Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. That includes the good things and the bad. Ill.puzzles: They can be confusing

They can test your patience. Ive found the key to working puzzles is looking at the picturethe big picture on the box. Looking at all the jagged pieces too hard and too long will make us go madweve got to look at the big picture! One day in heaven all the pieces will come together for usuntil then, we need to trust the big picture God has painted for us! In the end John was beheaded because of his unflinching loyalty to the Lord, On his birthday Herod gave a
banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, Ask me for anything you want, and Ill give it to you. And he promised her with an oath, Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom. She went out and said to her mother, What shall I ask for? The head of John the Baptist, she answered. At once


the girl hurried in to the king with the request: I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Mark 6:14-29.

This is the milk of the Wordan understanding of a great man who prepared the way of the Lord And showed us how to be a soul winner and how to be real express our hearts and accept Gods answers to lifes questions. Today isnt milk Its meat for sure as Jesus predicts the plight of our doubting generation. The rest of Matthew 11 is like reading todays headlines, but it ends in hope!