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John the Baptist PowerPoint Sermon

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John the Baptist

John 1:19-37; Matthew 11:1-11


This series is “The Gospel of Jesus”, but no study of Christ is complete without understanding His forerunner, the human who introduced Him to the world.  John the Baptist is the first soul winner of whom we read in the New Testament, and he was a pioneer in every sense of the word. He not only prepared the way for the Lord, Luke 3:4, but as we study him he will help to prepare us to do this same good work.


There are few people in the Gospels concerning whom we have so much detail and of whom the Lord had so much to say, yet John's period of service probably covered only six months. He was a unique personality--rugged, strong, yet humble. He was the child of godly parents, Luke 1:5-6; his birth was super normal, Luke 1:7 [leapt in the womb], he was Spirit filled, Luke 1:15: he was our Lord's forerunner, Luke 7:27. [Behold, the Lamb of God!]





John's work was undertaken under a strong sense of divine commission, and in John 1:33 four words emphasize this: "He that sent me". He had been sent to do the work of soul winning. Who had sent him?  Look at John 1:6.

It is important to notice, however, that if we truly are Christians then we too have been sent.

John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.


Jesus was sent by God, John 6:44; 7:16; 9:4, and compare 1 John 4:14, and just as God sent Jesus, so He has sent us. So John obeyed a divine commission.





Why was John sent? What did he come to do?

John 1:19-22       This sends us back to our OT:


Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me:


Isa 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.


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 Christian can engage in this, and on every hand people are waiting to hear this voice that tells them of the Savior. And how did John the Baptist use his voice?...





In all the records of John's public ministry, and in particular, John 1:19-37, we see that he always pointed people away from himself to the Lord Jesus.

v. 25-27   See John 3:28-30--John calls himself  “the best man.”

        And may we all have this attitude of making God increase and ourselves decrease!


Who was this Christ whom John introduced to people?

v. 30, 34      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. 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…





John proclaimed two special things about Christ:


(1)  First, that He is the sin bearer, see verses 29 and 36; 


(2)  Second, that He is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit, see verses 32 and 33.                             


Thus the message that John proclaimed to his hearers was that through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ they could have deliverance from their sins, Acts 13:38-39, and the gift of a new life.


1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…


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 [look up and compare Ex. 12:13; Acts 8:32; 1 Cor. 5:7; 1 Pet. 1:19; 2:24; Rev. 1:5-6].


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, we’ll see fruit and the Lord and His work will increase!





At first sight the harvest recorded in John 1:35-37 did not seem very spectacular, but think a moment. 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 findeth his own brother first", but "he first findeth 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 down…but 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 Christianity…and yet even he experienced a period of great doubt and testing:

Matt. 11:1-3                John stood up to Herod for taking his own brother’s 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 he’s having doubts.  We should find this fact comforting.  What?  That’s right!  If the greatest man ever born can have doubts and his faith falter, then it’s normal for any of us at times.


John, like most Jews, didn’t 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 it’s when we’re 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 things, so he began to question.  It’s ok to question, it’s ok to have doubts, and investigate them.  What’s the only dumb question?  [the one you don’t ask!]  Sometimes God answers right away, and Jesus did w/ John’s question…and some will be answered in heaven and not before.  We must trust.


v. 4-5           This is the fulfillment of the prophecies of Isaiah 35.  Jesus knew John would recognize His credentials.


v. 6      Trust me even when you don’t understand.” 

    So, it’s ok to be honest with our feelings, it’s ok to not understand everything, it’s 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 for the life of me figure out a conservative congressman, working on child predator legislation turning out to be one himself.  I can’t understand a little baby dying shortly after birth, or a great Christian getting cancer.  But I don’t have to understand, I just have to trust.


Ro 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:  we’ve started doing them with the kids.  They can be confusing…they can test your patience.  Sometimes you are just certain the dog must have eaten the piece you’re looking for, and so you try to cram in one that is kinda close to fitting!  Can you believe we’re having such trouble w/ 100 piece puzzles?  J

Joke—my wife did one on her own, and it took a whole week.  I said, should it really take you that long?  She said, hey, I did a great job, it says right on the box “from 2-4 years!”

…Anyway, we’ve found the key to working puzzles is looking at the picture…the big picture on the box.  Looking at all the jagged pieces too hard and too long will make you go mad…you’ve got to look at the big picture!


One day in heaven all the pieces will come together for us…until 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, Mark 6:14-29.  May we trust the Lord and be faithful until death. 


This is the milk of the Word—an 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 God’s answers to life’s questions.  Tonite isn’t milk, it’s meat for sure as Jesus predicts the plight of our doubting generation.  The rest of Matthew 11 is like reading today’s headlines, but it ends in hope!


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