Summary: An Original Jesus Freak – John the Baptist

Are you a Jesus Freak

John the Baptist

Matthew 3:1-12

What do you think of when you hear the word freak? Maybe you think of the old time circus freaks like the bearded lady or the two-headed alligator. I’ve seen a bumper sticker on a car in town that said “I’m a freak, touch me”. So I believe that would fall into the category of a freak. So what about if you heard the phrase Jesus Freak? The words Jesus Freak were first used in the late 60’s when hippies became part of a new revival, the Jesus Movement. The rest of the world called these over zealot young people “Jesus Freaks” as a derogatory term.

Freak = an impassioned enthusiast, resembles an addiction or a person with a strong and habitual liking for something

Zealot = a fanatically committed person

Matthew 3:1-12

1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 4 And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

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? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

This is actually the Beginning of the Gospel.

So let’s talk about one of these “Jesus Freaks”

An Original Jesus Freak – John the Baptist

A. He was the first prophet in 400 years

1. His message – Repent ye, for the kingdom of God is at hand

2. He quoted from the prophecy about himself – the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord

3. Pharisees later in vs. 21-23 were questioning John, they wanted to know who John was, but John wanted them to know who Jesus was

4. He was preaching and baptizing Jews

B. He was Unique

1. There is no getting around it John the Baptist was weird, unique

2. He wore odd clothes

a. Camel’s hair and leather belt

Practical and long-wearing but far from comfortable or fashionable

b. Worn by Elijah and other prophets

3. He ate strange food - Not as if he never ate anything else

a. Living in the desert he didn’t hesitate to eat insects – I was in Syracuse NY for a funeral a while back and visiting with my cousin learned about chocolate covered cicadas. He had actually tried them and said they were really good, tasted like choc-covered raisins. I’ll take his word for it.

b. Locusts were among the clean foods.

4. He lived in the Desert – west of the Dead Sea. This was an utterly barren desert

He was of the Priestly line of Aaron

But didn’t participate in temple practices for he was a full days journey from Jerusalem

Preached in the desert

5. Simple food, clothing and lifestyle were visual protests against self-indulgence

He did not aim at uniqueness for its own sake. He wasn’t a freak just to be a freak

Not only was he the 1st prophet in 400 years, not only was he unique…

C. He was Magnetic - John the Baptist was magnetic

People came to him

Now some probably came out of curiosity, just like we tend to do we all do it whether we like to admit it or not.

We all slow WAY down to look at the car accident, or we all cant help but stop and watch a few minutes at least of those weird shows on the Discovery Channel.

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