John the Baptist
1. Birth foretold:
There was gin 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.And they were both righteous before God,
walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But
they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well
advanced in years.
So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord....
"11Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 12 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. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 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, seven from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 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.” [Luke 1:5-17]
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.”
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. 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.” [Luke 1:18-20]
24 Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, “Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.” [Luke 1:24-25]
Prepares the way:
For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’ ”
Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think 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. 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. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Mt 3:3-12).
Bears witness about Jesus
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The
Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I
said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before
me.’ I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”
32 and John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.” (Jn 1:29-34)
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and
are You coming to me?”
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.
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. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mt 3:13-17)
Arrested by Herod
And with many other exhortations he preached to the people. But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, also added this, above all, that he shut John up in prison." Lk 3:18-20
Reason for Imprisonment
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.” 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 because John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. (Mt 14:1-5)
Discouraged in prison
"...when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent
two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we
look for another?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
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? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written:
‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.’
“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. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Mt 11:2-15)
Beheaded by Herod
After transfiguration, spoke about the coming Elijah
And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you
that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the
kingdom of God present with power.”
Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”— because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.
9 Now as they came down from the mountain,
Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of
Man is risen from the dead.”
10 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”
11 Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will irestore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist. (Mt 17:9-13)
Confused, beset by doubts, questioning even his own ministry -- preparing the way for Jesus. (Why have you forsaken me?)
Would he come and rescue him?
Are we open and receptive to what God is doing in and around us?Can we hear Jesus say, Open your ears to what I am about. Are we open to His concerns -- or just our own agendas? "My thoughts are not your thoughts..." What lies ahead?
If this is not Your will... Enable me to see God's will...
God is asking us to join Him ... rather than serve our own agenda.
First Adam: My will be done. Second Adam: Thy will be done