Monday, August 2, 2021

John the Baptist

Mark 1:1-8

Mark opens Not with Jesus, but with John the Baptist!!  All 4 gospels record John's ministry -  therefore, is significant)

Biography of John the Baptist:  

(1)  his birth - miraculous - Luke 1:5-17
Note:  "Zacharia's Song"  (after his birth) - Luke 1:76-77

(2)  his formative years - Luke 1:80  - John's childhood - all that is recorded

(3)  his sudden appearance!! - Mark " "And so John came ....." -
great parallel between John and Elijah - 1 Kings. 17:1
This breaks 400 years of prophetic silence!!

(4)  his outward appearance - "camel's hair, leather belt - again, compare to Elijah

(5)  his ministry = predicted/prophecy -Isa. 40:3-5  The synoptic gospels all use this test - refers to John
note also:  Mal. 3:1, 4:5-6 - Jesus anticipated Elijah would come before the appearing of the Lord

(6)  his message
A)  Repent and Be Baptized - Mark 1:4 - baptism of repentance, not baptism to be saved
B0  Produce Fruit - Matt. 3:709 - fruit in conjunction with repentance

(7)  his ministry = prepare people for Messiah - Luke 1:17

(8)  Jesus assessment of John - Matt. 11:10-11

I)  John = extraordinary man!!! -  ".... no name greater than John....."
BUT ... totally human!!!  Matt. 11:2-3  (had doubts!)
So..... what made him extra-ordinary..???

#1.  John was CHOSEN for a particular task!! 
ie:  selected, called ... to BE Jesus' (Messiah)  forerunner

#2.  John was gifted (equipped) for that task!! 
spiritual gifts, personal traits and temperament  (he fit the calling)

#3.  John was faithful to that task!  

So.... question:  what makes John so different than me or you?
         answer:  Only the time, place, gifts, calling.....

1 Cor. 12:4-12 - God gifts according to the calling, task

11 Cor. 12:7-9 - true only of Paul?  Apostles?

Again.... what made John extra-ordinary = (1) his calling  (2)  his gifts  AND (3)  his FAITHFULNESS (to use these gifts)

Example:  Parable of the Talents - Matt. 25:14-15, 19-28
Point:  the man with 2 talents was not expected to gain 10 talents or 5 talents.  (his calling, his giftedness not the same!)
BUT... the same FAITHFULNESS is expected!!!

NOTE:  John did NO miracles!!! - John 10:40-42

II.  John knew who he was  (and who he was NOT!!)
John 1:19-23 - on one hand "not the Christ"
                        however,  "His herald!"

Compare you and me: 
On one hand, just a poor sinner
However, a sinner called, selected, cleansed, redeemed, reconciled, child of God, heir to the Kingdom, joint heir with Christ!!!! - I'm just a child, but I'm HIS child!!

1 Cor. 1:2, 6:9-11
2 points:  (1)  know who you are
              (2)  Act like who you are - a child of God, brought into the family of God.
On one hand, may be unprofitable servant
  However, are His servant

 III.  John's ministry centered on Christ (NOT on himself!)  John 1:35-37 - gospel wasn't about John
John was a very important person ... but ministry is not about YOU!!

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