John the Baptist: Messenger for Messiah

Posted: December 21, 2017 in Uncategorized
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“John the Baptist: Messenger for Messiah”

It’s five days before Christmas, and what are we studying? John the Baptist. Is this right? Appropriate? Absolutely. What better way to prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, than to remember the man used by God to prepare the Jewish nation for Jesus? John was the royal herald for the King of kings. To look at his life, ministry, and message is to look to Christ, for Christ is exactly whom John preached.

Due to the subject, this is going to be a different sort of study. Though it was unusual for an Old Testament prophet (which John was, though he is included in the opening pages of the New Testament), John never wrote a book, so we have no writing of his own to study verse-by-verse. Of course, Elijah never wrote either (nor did Elisha), but neither did John perform any miracles as did Elijah and Elisha. So there is nothing to study in that respect, either. Yet we need to pay attention to John, because Jesus called him the greatest man/prophet who ever lived…you can’t get a higher endorsement than that!

What do we have? Quite a bit, actually. We have Old Testament prophecies telling the Jews what to expect from John. We have New Testament accounts of his life and ministry. We have New Testament records of his preaching (though not outright transcripts). Those are the things we’ll see today: the man, the ministry, and the message – all of it, as it points to the Messiah, Christ Jesus.

Ultimately, the life of the John the Baptist serves as a model for all born-again Christians. Just like John pointed to Jesus, we should too.

The Man:

John was well-known by the people of his day, and he had an impact upon the Jews that was second only to Jesus. So famous was John that people travelled from all over the countryside to see & hear him (Jews & Romans alike), and Paul the apostle encountered people as far away as Ephesus who had been baptized into his baptism. (Acts 19:1-3) Even the Jewish historian Josephus wrote of John the Baptist – one of the few men of that age to be included in secular history books. “(116) Now, some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist; (117) for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness.” (Antiquities of the Jews, 18.5.116-117) This was a man recognized far & wide as a righteous man of God, and he made an impact upon all around him. Even those who didn’t understand all of John’s message understood his character, and that itself was a witness unto the righteousness of God. (There is a lesson in that, alone! Too many professing Christians have a message, but a lack of morals as a foundation. Without the latter, people have no reason to pay attention to the former.)

What do we know about John as a man? First, we know that he had a miraculous birth:

Luke 1:5–20, “(5) There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. (6) And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. (7) But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years. (8) So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, (9) according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. (10) And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. (11) Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. (12) And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. (13) But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. (14) And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. (15) For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. (16) And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. (17) He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (18) And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.” (19) And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. (20) But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.””

  1. Jesus wasn’t the only one in the pages of the New Testament to have a miraculous birth – His cousin John did, as well! Whereas Jesus was born of a virgin, John was born of the barren. Like Abraham and Sarah, Zacharias and Elizabeth were both elderly at the time they received the announcement of John, and to that point, they had been unable to conceive. What had undoubtedly been an emotional burden and grief for decades turned instantly into an opportunity for God’s glory, as His involvement in the birth of John would be undeniable. Simply Elizabeth’s pregnancy would call attention, and friends & neighbors would wonder what God was doing at the time.
  2. Zacharias, though a priest, stumbled in his faith at the news, and was struck dumb by the angel Gabriel. God can do all things at all times – nothing is impossible for Him. Of all people, Zacharias should have known this & believed it. Certainly, he should not have questioned God’s ability to do such a thing, nor demanded a sign as proof. In the end, Zacharias did receive a sign, though it wasn’t the one he wanted!
  3. Of course, Gabriel gave more than an announcement of John’s future birth; Gabriel also spoke of his future life. John would be:
    1. Great in the sight of the Lord. Obviously, John was a man just like any of us. Thus he was a sinner just like all of us. How can a sinner be great in the sight of God? Only by the grace of God. God had a purpose for John, and would be glorified through John. God could see John as great because He graciously chose to see John as great. (Just as God chooses to see us as His sons & daughters through the sacrifice of Jesus!)
    2. Totally free from the influence of alcohol. This wasn’t declared of John in order to be prescriptive for everyone else, but it was an indication that John was to be a lifelong Nazirite: someone completely dedicated to the Lord, as if he had taken a Nazirite vow. (What does it take for you to be completely dedicated to the Lord?)
    3. Filled with the Holy Spirit (even from birth). How John would live & what John would speak was not determined by his own whims; he followed the leading of God the Holy Spirit, being constantly empowered and directed by the Holy Spirit. (This same filling is available to every Christian!)
    4. A fulfillment of prophecy. The first words spoken of John in the gospel of Luke reflect the last words spoken in the Old Testament. After 400 years of silence, God was moving once again – picking up right where He left off has He prepared the Jewish people to see their Messiah. John was critical to that preparation. (So are we. How else will the gospel be proclaimed if Christians do not proclaim it? God has chosen to use His church in the gospel mission; we are critical to it.)
  4. Bottom line: the future son of Zacharias would be special. Even before his birth, he was set apart by God to be used for God and His glory.
    1. So are we. We may not have the exact same role as John the Baptist (though our ministries are vastly similar & parallel!), nor the same birth as John the Baptist – but we have the same God & Heavenly Father. Just as God had a mission for John, God has a mission for us. We too, have been known by God before our births – He has known us since before the foundation of the world! He has always had a plan for us, and desire to use us for His glory.

Second, we know John had a humble life. He was humble not only in terms of how he dressed and ate (camel’s hair & locusts & honey), but also in terms of his status and role.

John 3:22–30, “(22) After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. (23) Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. (24) For John had not yet been thrown into prison. (25) Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification. (26) And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!” (27) John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. (28) You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’ (29) He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. (30) He must increase, but I must decrease.”

  1. Whereas others would get jealous at the success of others, John did not. John understood exactly where he stood in the grand scheme of things, and it didn’t bother him at all. He was glad. After all, if people were going to see Jesus, then it meant that he had been successful in his mission! That’s what he had come for.
    1. Too many Christians want to point to themselves instead of to Christ. 
  2. Note: humble doesn’t mean horrible. John had a right perspective of his role in God’s kingdom; it did not mean that he was rotten and worthless. Jesus was the bridegroom, and John was the bridegroom’s “friend.” John didn’t punish himself, or even call a lot of attention to himself by whining about how humble he needed to be. He was content in his God-given role, recognizing it to be a great honor to be a friend of God.
    1. We are Jesus’ friends! There is no doubt we are His servants, but we are also His friends. (Jn 15:15) We are His co-heirs. (Rom 8:17) We don’t need to receive the glory of God in order to enjoy the glory of God. The right attitude of humility & contentment goes far. This is where we can have joy!

Third, we know John had an uncompromising life, even to the point of death.

Matthew 14:1–12, “(1) At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus (2) and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.” (3) For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. (4) Because John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” (5) And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. (6) But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. (7) Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. (8) So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.” (9) And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her. (10) So he sent and had John beheaded in prison. (11) And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. (12) Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.”

  1. Interestingly, out of the various martyrs in the New Testament, John did not die because of his faith in Jesus. Seemingly, Herod had no issue with John’s consistent proclamation of Jesus as the Christ. What hit Herod was John’s proclamation of Herod’s personal sin.
    1. That said, there’s no question that the two things are related. The reason people get so offended at the name of Jesus is because they are offended at the mention of sin. People don’t want to hear that their actions are sinful & deserving of God’s judgment. To hear of a Savior is to hear of sin from which we need saving. To many, that message is simply unacceptable.
    2. But the good news is that Jesus does save! Although it is bad news that we are sinners, guilty of treason against our Creator, deserving of His infinite wrath – it is good news that He loves us and sent Jesus to save us from judgment. The salvation of Jesus is available even to those offended by Jesus. (Drop your offense & pride & receive the grace of Christ!)
  2. How did John react to Herod’s offense? John stayed his ground. He did not compromise on Biblical truth. What Herod did, Herod did. John could not change the word of God to fit Herod, and he was willing to endure any consequence that came with that.
    1. Would that men & women of God do the same! We need the power of the Holy Spirit and the courage He gives in order to stand fast for the truth of God.

The Mission:

As a man, John was amazing, and if all we knew of him was what we’ve already read, he’d serve as a great example for Christians. But John came for much more. He was sent by God for a purpose. He had a specific mission.

Earlier Old Testament prophets wrote of him. Although John obviously did not get nearly the amount of prophetic attention as did Jesus (rightfully so), he is specifically mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Isaiah 40:3–8, “(3) The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God. (4) Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; (5) The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (6) The voice said, “Cry out!” And he said, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. (7) The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. (8) The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.””

  1. This is quoted by each of the Synoptic gospels in reference to the mission of John the Baptist (Mt 3:3, Mk 1:3, Lk 3:4), as well as by John himself (Jn 1:23). The whole of the NT record shows John as the fulfillment of this prophecy. Contextually for Isaiah, a major transition has taken place in his prophecies, moving from oracles of judgments & the historical record of God’s miraculous deliverance of King Hezekiah from the Assyrian Sennacherib, to a message of comfort to God’s people. God showed Isaiah a day in which warfare had ended, ultimately looking forward to the Millennial Kingdom of peace. In preparation of that kingdom, the people were to be prepared for the arrival of the Lord God Himself, as all of creation moves in response to the King of kings.
  2. This was the mission of John the Baptist: to cry out for the Lord. He was the representative of God – the royal herald of the King of kings calling people to prepare for His coming. The Christmas carol “Joy to the World” invites every heart to prepare room for the Lord’s arrival, and such was the mission of John. John invited people, but did more than mere invitation; he pleaded with people to repent. He exhorted people to look to the Messiah. He called people to action, and that act of calling was the preparation.
    1. Do we call? Do we exhort? Often, it seems that Christians fall short in this regard. We might speak of Jesus and model His love & compassion – but perhaps we don’t actually call people to action. We need the courage to do so!
    2. Are you prepared? Life fails just as surely as grass fades. We could see God at any time. Are you ready?

Malachi 3:1, “(1) “Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the LORD of hosts.”

Malachi 4:5–6, “(5) Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. (6) And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.””

  1. God told Malachi of two messengers: one was the Messenger of the covenant, and the other was the messenger of the Messenger of the covenant. Out of the two, Jesus is the greater & John was the lesser.
  2. As with Isaiah, the words of Malachi are also often quoted in the New Testament. By Gabriel at the birth announcement (Lk 1:17), and more importantly, by Jesus (Mt 11:10). Jesus had no doubt that John was the messenger prophesied by Malachi.
  3. Included in John’s mission of preparation was a message of repentance. Hearts of fathers would be turned to their children & vice-versa. How is this related to the gospel of the kingdom? When people’s hearts repent towards God, they cannot help but repent toward one another. A true sincere love of God will compel us to love one another.
    1. Don’t get this backwards! The culturally sanitized version of Christianity teaches people to love one another, irrespective of their theology or Biblical truth. The social gospel does away with the proclamation of sin, and instead focuses solely on service towards men. But that addresses the symptoms & not the disease! Sinners can love one another and still go to hell. People can give their bank accounts and their lives for the poor, and still be in rebellion against God. John first and foremost preached repentance towards God in preparation for the Christ; everything else in our lives follows as a necessary response & fruit.

But it wasn’t just Old Testament prophecy that spoke of the mission of John; it was the New Testament as well. We’ve already seen how the angel Gabriel spoke of John as the fulfillment of Malachi 4. John himself testified of his mission when talking with the Jews.

John 1:19–28, “(19) Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” (20) He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” (21) And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” (22) Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” (23) He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the LORD,” ’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (24) Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. (25) And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” (26) John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. (27) It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.” (28) These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.”

  1. John knew who he was, and who he was not. He was not:
    1. John was not the Messiah, and ensured he would never be seen as such. Even if the priests and Levites did not originally mention the Messianic title, John denied a Messianic identity before saying anything else. That glory belongs to Jesus, and to none other.
    2. Although it might be confusing, John also denied being Elijah the prophet. This is later addressed by Jesus.
    3. The Prophet. This was an office taught by Moses in Deuteronomy 18. There was to be a prophet like Moses who would arise among the Hebrew people, and they were to hear that prophet, just like they heard Moses. Of course John was a prophet, but he was not the The prophet proclaimed by Moses was actually another role of the Messiah, even if the priests believed differently. Thus John doubly denied being the Christ.
  2. He was: the voice, according to Isaiah 40. He was a preacher – a prophet – a preparer. He was the one to call people to repentance, ensuring that they were ready to see their King & God. This was the role given him by God, and John was more than happy to do it.
  3. He knew what he was called to do: baptize. Baptism was his method of preparation. How better to symbolize repentance towards God and humility in awaiting the Messiah than to submerse oneself in water, as if being reborn into new life?
    1. We do not baptize in order to prepare for Jesus; we baptize in order to identify with Him.

And it wasn’t just John. Jesus Himself testified of John & his mission.

Matthew 11:7–15, “(7) As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? (8) But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. (9) But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. (10) For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ (11) “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (12) And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. (13) For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. (14) And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. (15) He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

  1. Did Jesus contradict John? John said he wasn’t Elijah, but Jesus said he was. There’s no contradiction – not if we look at each man rightly in his own context. For John, he answered the questions of the priests & Levites as to whether or not he was the actual person of Elijah. e, John wasn’t the reincarnated Elijah or Elijah back from the dead. John was John, and none other. For Jesus, He spoke of the prophetic role of Elijah, which John did in fact fulfill. 
  2. John did not have an easy life, but he did have an important one. He had a great one – the very best, according to Jesus. Yet even John’s life paled in comparison with what stood just on the horizon. Every single person included in the New Covenant of God held a greater position than the final prophet in the Old Covenant. Those who are in the kingdom of heaven are greater than John.
    1. Does this mean John wasn’t saved? It means he was included in a different dispensation. For those of us in the New Covenant (Testament), we see the fulfillment of Jesus: His life, death, and resurrection. John could only look forward to those things in faith. We look backwards, not only in faith, but in historical confirmation. We also enjoy the blessings of the New Covenant that John never knew. For instance, John was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth, but he wasn’t ever sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of heaven. He wasn’t born of the Holy Spirit in the same way that we are born of Him. He wasn’t given the Spirit of adoption as we are as joint-heirs of Christ. (Rom 8:17) Those are blessings given to New Testament believers – something which John never knew.
    2. That said, just because we live on this side of history from Jesus than John doesn’t mean we’re automatically included in those promises. The Old Covenant faith of John is greater than the absence of faith of 21st century man or woman. To experience any of these blessings, we must believe in Jesus…there is no other way.

The bottom line? John was sent to prepare the way for Jesus. He was sent to be a herald & a forerunner. Did he do it? For that, we have to look at his message…

The Message:

Although we do not have John’s message written down in his own words, we do have records of what it is he taught. Just as the gospel accounts record the message of Jesus, though not unabridged transcripts, they do the same with John the Baptist. The core of his message was simple: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Mt 3:2) – and it was a message echoed by Jesus (Mt 4:17) – but that was a summation, more than anything else. Luke, more than any other writer, provides the details.

Luke 3:7–17, “(7) Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (8) Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. (9) And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (10) So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?” (11) He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.” (12) Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” (13) And he said to them, “Collect no more than what is appointed for you.” (14) Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.” (15) Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not, (16) John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (17) His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.””

  1. John pointed out sin. It wasn’t only King Herod who heard of the reality of sin from John; it was all of Judea. Even those who hadn’t ruled in oppression or married their close relatives were still guilty of sin. The Jews could not claim righteousness simply because they were born of Abraham. They needed to acknowledge their sin for what it was, and deal with it.
    1. People in our own culture have to deal with the same issues. We tend to think because we’re Americans, we’re good people. Or if we’ve avoided criminal records, we’re good people. How false! Sin is rampant and inherent in our culture, and (just like addiction) the first step to dealing with it is admitting its existence.
  2. John promoted repentance. This was how to deal with sin. It wasn’t enough for the Jews to claim they were sorry over sin; they needed to do something about it. A true change of mind naturally leads to a change of action – otherwise, it’s just lip-service. So John gave all kinds of people practical ideas on how to repent. Be it Jews, tax-collectors, or Roman soldiers. Anyone could repent from their sin…they just needed to be willing to humble themselves before God and do it. (So do we!)
  3. John prepared others for Jesus – the One who was bringing the kingdom. As with other times, John denied being the Christ, but he certainly pointed the way to Him. The things John did, as monumental as they were for the time, paled in comparison with the things the Messiah (Christ) would do. The Christ was to be far mightier – His baptism far better – and His judgment far more thorough. IOW, the Messiah wasn’t to be ignored! People needed to be ready – they needed to be prepared.
    1. When we’re pointing people to Jesus, we need to remember that we’re pointing them to a real Person. The gospel isn’t about some theoretical idea; it is about the Living God. People need to understand Jesus for who He is, if they are to respond.

All of this led to the pinnacle of John’s ministry: the moment when he had the privilege of baptizing the Messiah.

Matthew 3:13–17, “(13) Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. (14) And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” (15) But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. (16) When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. (17) And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.””

  1. This was the culmination! For all of the public ministry of John preparing others to see Jesus, when the time came, John himself was personally overwhelmed. Surely he had known Jesus all his life, being a close cousin. Even so, he hadn’t known that Jesus was the Messiah until God revealed it to him (Jn 1:31). Once John saw Jesus rightly, he no longer proclaimed an unknown Messiah in faith – he proclaimed the personal Messiah he knew. And whatever it was John did to that point, he still felt himself unworthy in front of Jesus. (Praise God for Jesus’ grace!)
  2. Whatever it is we do in gospel ministry, never forget to first partake of it yourself. It’s one thing to proclaim Jesus to others; it’s another to personally spend time in His presence. Allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the magnificence of Jesus! (As you do, it will only help you proclaim Him better & more often!)

Conclusion:

John was a Godly man, with a God-ordained mission, speaking a God-glorifying message. He lived his life in humility & righteousness, and consistently pointed people to Jesus through both word and deed. He was the last (and greatest) of the Old Testament prophets, bridging the gap to the New Testament gospel.

What John did then, we do today. What was given to that final Old Testament prophet is given to the entire New Testament church. Today, we are those who are set apart by God, commissioned by God, and given the gospel message of God. We are the ones to live in consistent humility & holiness, preparing people to see Jesus. Just as John was a messenger of Messiah, so are we.

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