Summary: Just as John was God’s dynamic voice telling those in the wilderness about the Christ to come, so we are to be God’s dynamic voice telling the world about Christ too.
“A Man Named John”
9/24/2000 a.m. (John 1:6-8; 19-29) Rodgers Park Baptist Church
It’s strange, but for the last 2,000 years God has selected a few key men named “John” to preach the gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ.
In the New Testament there was “John the Baptist,” “John the apostle,” and “John Mark.”
During the Reformation there was “John Knox,” and “John Calvin.”
In the 18th Century there was “John Wesley.” Before and since then I am sure there have been many “Johns.” The reason for that of course is that the name “John” has become very popular with the Christian church. It means “God is gracious,” or “the gift of God.”
No doubt, John the Baptist was a gift from God to the Jews in Israel. He was the forerunner of the Lord Jesus Christ preparing the way for His appearing. It was John the Baptist that introduced Jesus to the world.
You must understand something about John the Baptist. He was the last Old Testament prophet. Before John there was 400 years of silence from God; 400 years when God refused to speak to the world. Then, after 400 silent years, John emerged with a fresh message from God for His people. He had the revelation of God ringing in his message. He was God’s official “spokesman” for the hour.
With John the Old covenant was buried and the New covenant emerged. John was a rugged figure who held the Old Testament in one hand while holding the New Testament in his heart. It is through his ministry that we can make the transition from law to grace. He was the foreclosure of the Old and the forerunner of the New.
No doubt there have been many great men throughout history, but other than Christ Himself, I have never read of a greater than John the Baptist. Let me explain. Some men are great by their own estimation. Some men are considered great by other men’s estimations. But the only one who was considered the greatest by Jesus’ estimation was John the Baptist, (Mt. 11:11)
Mt 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
I want to share three things with you this morning about this man named John. I want you to remember this.
BI - “Just as John was God’s dynamic voice telling those in the wilderness about the Christ to come, so we are to be God’s dynamic voice telling the world about Christ too.”
Please consider first:
I. John’s Human Limitations - “John was a man.”
A. A Common Man - (Mt 11:2)
There was nothing extraordinary about the man John except his birth. He was born to Elizabeth and Zacharias at an old age, which was quite miraculous, but he was common flesh and bones like the rest of us. He had the same temptations, shortcomings, and problems that we all have. You might not read about them in the New Testament, but it’s true. John was highly revered by the Jews of his day, but he was a common man just the same.
Mt 11:2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
B. A Courageous Man - (Mt 3:7; 14:4; Mk 6:17-20)
Mt 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Mt 14:1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, 2 And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. 3 For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife. 4 For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.
Mr 6:17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her. 18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife. 19 Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:
20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
C. A Consecrated Man - (Mt 3:13-15)