Summary: John the Baptist was an important pivotal prophet who teaches us the principles of a true WITNESS and TESTIMONY.
11 9 14 A Witness of the Word: John 1:6-8
We have been walking with John through the Gospel of John and meeting the Eternal Son of God who became the Son of Man. We have seen the Savior in the first five verses as the Eternal Word, the Eternal Son, the Creator Word, The Self-Existent Word, The Life-Giving Word, The Light-Bearing Word.
John 1:1-5: 1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend ( did NOT overcome) it.”
Today we look at verses 6-8: “There came a man sent (apostellô) from God, whose name was John.” (or There came a man ‘having been sent’ at one point in time and then sent, COMMISSIONED from God Himself) (John, NOT the evangelist who is writing, but John the Baptist, came into being, unlike the WORD who always existed.)
Here is the supreme purpose of God in the life of John the Baptist: 7 “He came as a witness, to testify (to witness) about the Light, so that all might believe through him. (Through his testimony) Verse 8 clarifies verse 7.) He was not the Light, but he came to testify (to witness) about the Light.”
John the Baptist was a charismatic character.
I. John the Baptist was a very charismatic character and figure in God’s Kingdom; Listen to the unique introduction for him in Mark 1:1 “The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 It is written in Isaiah the prophet: "I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way"-- 3 "a voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.' " 4 And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: "After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
John THE Baptist was not charismatic in a flamboyant kind of way, but he faithfully lives up to the expectations of God in his ministry: He was a faithful forerunner of the Lord Jesus; He is merely a VOICE to be heard, crying in the wilderness. He is urging people to TURN TO God IN REPENTANCE because the LORD is coming! In John 1:23: “He said, "I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, 'MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,' as Isaiah the prophet said."
John the Baptist was a pivotal prophet of God. Luke 16:16 tells us: "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.” John was the last of the Old Testament prophets before Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of God! It is no wonder that he earned the praise of Jesus Himself in Matthew 11:11: “I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
He was extremely mindful of his humble position. His obvious humility is displayed in his outward appearance. He dresses down, not to impress and compete with the elite but to draw those who are humble. More importantly is his demeanor as he explains his OWN lowly position as “A VOICE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS”. What a contrast to the Eternal ONE in John 1:30: “This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me (is greater than me) because he was before me.'” (Humanly speaking, John the Baptist was born before Jesus, but Jesus always EXISTED before John.)
Also in John 3:27-32: (sneak preview) “To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, 'I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.' 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less. 31 "The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.”