Summary: Examining the events surrounding John the Baptist who was a forerunner, much like Isaiah, and proclaimed the truth of the Gospel. From this life, we are encouraged that we too can be proclaimers as well.
2010 Christmas Series
Sermon 2 - John the Baptist
Luke 1:5-25; 39-41; 57-66
- Obvious question: “What is Advent?”
- The word Advent means "coming" or "arrival." The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent.
- Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God.
- Last week we talked about Mary’s visit with Elizabeth
-- Baby leaped in the womb when he heard Mary’s voice
-- Elizabeth was delighted to see what God had done in her life
-- Mary responded in worship that her soul glories the Lord
- This morning, we are going to examine the events surrounding John the Baptist
-- John the Baptist was the forerunner, much like Isaiah, and proclaimed the truth
-- From this life, we are encouraged that we too can be proclaimers
-- But, it has to start somewhere – this morning, let’s see where it starts
- Lots of scripture to cover this morning, so let’s pray together and read as we go
Point 1 – Seeing a Vision (v5-25)
- Read Luke 1:5-25
- Zechariah was a man who was faithful in the sight of God; a priest under Herod
- While performing his duties, God found favor with him and sent an angel
- May ask today if God is still speaking to us, and I believe that He is - always
- APP: If we are faithful, God will speak to us – and then we must follow Him
- V13 is a specific command that he will name his son to be, John, and will be a prophet to be used by the Lord to bring people back to God
- But, good old Zechariah had some problems in the area of faith
- He doubted (he questioned the angel) rather than just hearing God and accepting
V19, “The angel answered, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.”
- I’m thinking about this time Zechariah has a clue that he may be in trouble here
- Standing in church, doing church stuff, and NOW he wants to doubt God?
V20, “And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.”
- Meanwhile, everyone is outside waiting for church to end ( and wondering what was taking so long for him to complete his “duties”.)
- He goes in, burns the incense, comes out, and off to Ryan’s we go … right?
- There’s a lesson here for us – that sometimes church is more than what we expect
- Sometimes, God has a few more things planned for us than what we expect
- So he comes out, he is mute, and then people are wondering what happened!
- When we get into the presence of God, we ought to have the same experience
- Of course, when cannot all be stricken mute, but there ought to be a change
- Others ought to be able to see that we’ve spent time with God; Zechariah did
- APP: When God says He is going to do something – we can count on it
- DEEPER: When God shows up, a mighty experience MUST be expected!!
- TRANS: So, here is Zechariah, now mute, about to be a Dad, and willing to obey
Point 2 – Following God’s Commands (v57-66)
- Read Luke 1:57-66
- So, 9 months in now Zechariah hasn’t said a word, but he has God’s promise
- And so when John was born, and was preparing for the circumcision/naming, the neighbors (prob same ones wondering what took him so long at the temple) are expecting one thing because “they’ve done all this before” (sound familiar?)
- But, there is more here than meets the eye and this we must grasp:
- Zechariah knew that God was faithful, and that he must follow through
- When he followed/obeyed God, he could speak again
- To the astonishment of the Jones’s, this miracle happened and then they talked
- V66, “What then is this child going to be?" For the Lord's hand was with him.”
- APP: When we follow God – we MUST reveal/tell what He has done; and then the work of what is to come belongs to the Lord, not to us!
- TRANS: Lastly, we see that following God’s direction leads to healing/praising